Sie sind auf Seite 1von 25

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Value of Nature Author(s): Theodore W.

Nunez Source: The Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Spring, 1999), pp. 105-128 Published by: Blackwell Publishing Stable URL: Accessed: 23/04/2010 09:40
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Blackwell Publishing is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Religious Ethics.


Theodore W. Nunez

ABSTRACT In recent metaethical debate over ways to justify the notion of intrinsic natural value, some neopragmatists have challenged realist conceptionsof scientific and moral truth. Holmes Rolston defends a critical-realist episnature"and a cosmotemology as the basis for a metaphysics of "projective narrative- both of which set up a historical ontology of objective logical natural value. Pure ecologicalscience informs the wilderness experience of Rolston's ideal epistemic subject, the "sensitive naturalist." The author argues that Rolston'saccount of the relation between knowing and valuing can be clarified and strengthened by appropriating Bernard Lonergan's transcendental method. Conversely, Lonergan's view of moral selftranscendence can be developed further in light of Rolston'svirtue epistemology,which is embodied in the figure of the sensitive naturalist. critical realism, environmental ethics, epistemology,intrinsic KEY WORDS: value, value theory

of intrinsicvalue of naturein their attemptto justify strictpreservation have reached wildernessareas. However,environmental philosophers for no consensuson the theoreticalgrounding such a claim.Sometreat the notionof intrinsicnaturalvalue as the sine qua non of a nonanthroenvironmental ethic,while othersquestionbothits coherence pocentric and significance Regan1981;Weston1985;Rollin1993). (see In recent discussions,one finds differentmeaningsattachedto the In Varietiesof IntrinsicValue," JohnO'Neill value." "The term"intrinsic identifiesthreesenses of the termas it appearsin the literature.First,a natural objector processis said to be valuable in and of itself. Arne Naess, for instance, claims that "the well-beingof nonhumanlife on of Earth has value in itself,"which is "independent any instrumental in O'Neill1992, 119). for limited human purposes" usefulness (quoted value" of the pointsto the "intrinsic properties" Secondly, term"intrinsic the attribution intrinsicvalue is basedon the of a naturalentity.Often, that all biological observation organismsstrive to maintaintheir functhe whichare constitutionalintegrity:one can"characterise conditions of the tive of the flourishing a livingthing"and therebydetermine good 105


Journal of Religious Ethics

of an organism (O'Neill 1992, 129). Hence, a natural object may be said to possess intrinsic value for itself. So Paul Tayloradvocates a biocentric ethic based on the belief that all biological organisms are "teleological centers of life" (Taylor 1986). Thirdly, the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature is said to be an "objectivevalue." A natural object is the source and locus of value; it exists as "mutely enacted value" even before humans arrive on the scene (Lee 1996, 299). Here the term is not so much an axiological claim as a metaethical stance against subjectivism in value theory. The intrinsic value question reflects a long-standing conflict between rival epistemologies, with realists and relativists squaring off in a new arena. For their part, neopragmatists adopt an antifoundationalist stance: the moral and ontological status of nonhuman nature need not be settled- indeed cannot be settled- before engaging in collective action on behalf of the environment (Norton 1991). Radical pluralism at the level of conceptual frameworks need not preclude a workable accord on policy.On this view, solutions to environmental problems call for contextual sensitivity, not metaphysical certainty. One can agree, of course, on the need for environmental action, and fortunately there is substantial agreement - though by no means unanimity- among activists and philosophers alike on a set of policy objectives for enhancing ecosystemic health. Unfortunately, the neopragmatic refusal of metaphysics amounts, finally, to a capitulation before relativism. A decoupling of worldview from ethics may seem an attractive option, but at some point the different underlying assumptions will generate conflict or incoherence, and this, in turn, may well undermine the long-term effectiveness of praxis.1The neopragmatic shift to convergent policy goals notwithstanding, the question of how to justify the claim of nature's intrinsic value retains a foundational significance for environmental philosophy.

1. Autonomous Intrinsic Value

Sharp disagreements exist among ecophilosophers committed to a nonanthropocentricaxiology. On the one hand, J. Baird Callicott draws on the work of David Hume to elaborate an anthropogenic value theory. For Callicott, intrinsic natural values have their source in human senonto natural objects that "excite"value timents, which are "projected" (Callicott 1984, 305). While not the source of value, nonhuman nature can nevertheless be a locus of intrinsic value if and when humans
1 Witness, for instance, the internecine battles between animal rights advocates and land ethicists over the issue of wildlife management (for example, culling ungulate herds on national parklands).

and Rolston,Lonergan, theIntrinsicValue Nature of


chooseto appreciate,say, a pantherin Floridafor its own sake. On the other hand, Holmes Rolstonargues for a cognitiveand moral epistemologycapableof establishingan objectivenatural value theory.He makesthe strongclaimthat intrinsicvalue is a real property natural of onto nature but discovered there. objectsand processes,not projected In Rolston'sview, Callicott fails to recognize and fully respect the and autonomy integrityof wild nature:a pantherhas a good-of-its-own. Callicottthus commitswhat Rolstoncalls the "fallacy the misplaced of location of values."Accordingto Rolston, nature's intrinsic value is fully independentof human valuing consciousness.Individualorganisms, species,and ecosystemspossess varyingdegreesof "autonomous intrinsic value"that persons are obligatedto respect (Rolston 1988, 114-16).2 To speak of "autonomous intrinsicvalue"is potentiallymisleading, and though,forit seems to implythat naturalentities are freestanding holistic thought,we find that intrinsic,instruinviolable.In Rolston's in mental,and systemicvalues are closelyinterrelated whathe calls the of "storiedachievement" "projective nature"(Rolston1988, 192-201). On this account,to attributeintrinsicvalue only to humanbeings (anor is thropocentrism) onlyto livingbeings(biocentrism) to miss the sigof and nificance the originating sustainingecosystemic matrix.Rolston's affirmsthat intrinsicvalue is intertwinedwith inecocentric position strumentalvalue, and both are productsof a value-producing ecosystem. Rolstonmaintains:
[F]rom a short-range, subjective perspective we can say that the value of nature lies in its generation and support of human life and is therefore only instrumental. But from a longer-range,objectiveperspective systemic nature is valuable intrinsically as a projective system, with humans only one sort of its projects,though perhaps the highest. The system is of value for its capacity to throw forward (pro-ject)all the storied natural history [Rolston 1988, 198].

for natureis itself intrinsically Not simplya resource humans,projective valuableas the generativesourceof all naturalbeing and value. In its of widest scope,then, Rolston'sunderstanding intrinsicnatural value includesthe creativityand fertilityof the evolutionary processtaken as a whole.
2 Since a full treatment of Rolston'snatural value theory is not possible here, I will not exploresuch issues as the moral status of environmentalwholes (forexample, species, ecosystems) or the criteria for determining the gradations of what Rolston calls "valuerichness." In my view, the prior metaethical issue is the truth-status of the autonomous intrinsic value claim, since in Rolston'sthought it refers to all products and processes of the evolutionaryecosystem, and finally to the entire natural system itself.


Journal of Religious Ethics

Among Rolston's critics, Elizabeth Harlow contends that his position on the autonomous intrinsic value of nature is coherent only if he makes classical ontological commitments, such as the identification of being with goodness, the hierarchical order of being/goodness, and the notion of immanent teleology (Harlow 1992). However,in Harlow'sview, the objective order of being/goodness posited by classical metaphysics is no longer an option available to us- that is, to all philosophers after David Hume and Ludwig Wittgenstein, who reject immanent teleology and who see all notions of "reality"as language-dependent. According to Harlow, "[EJven our fundamental concepts of physical objects [are] cultural posits, and scientific revolutions [are] paradigm shifts and metaphorical redescriptions rather than the progressive revelation or mirroringof the intrinsic nature of either nature or human minds"(Harlow 1992, 38). While she maintains that "nature" always wears a human face, she argues that this does not lead necessarily to a runaway relativism in science and ethics, since one can recast Rolston's position within a "conceptualholism" that strongly affirms intrinsic natural values. In Rolston's work, "the aesthetic and epistemic vocabulary functions as a metaphor- not in the sense of a narcissistic echo of our own narrowly human preoccupations but as a new way of using familiar vocabulary to 'see' nature and its features as valuable and important precisely because of the way in which its harmony and its stories are its own"(Harlow 1992, 39). Despite this endorsement, Harlow's revisionist reading would erode the distinction between anthropogenic and autonomous intrinsic value that is central to Rolston's argument. Harlow's critique of Rolston is therefore a highly provocative one for two reasons: first because she challenges us to clarify the distinction between Rolston's metaphysics and more classical forms of ontology and second because her own strategy for salvaging Rolston'sinsights obliges us to clarify the degree to which Rolston'snotion of autonomous intrinsic value differs from more prevalent theories that attribute value to nature but nevertheless ground that attributed value in the valuing consciousness. Does Rolston's work yield a convincing answer to Harlow's critique? Or,to frame the issue more broadly,can Rolston'smetaphysics be defended against his neopragmatist critics? Perhaps, but a defense will have to stake its claim on the adequacy of Rolston's epistemology. First, then, I will examine Rolston's critical realism more closely and review his response to Harlow and other critics, with the aim of clarifying and defending the philosophical foundation of his position on the autonomous intrinsic value of nature. Second, I will discuss Bernard Lonergan's transcendental method, with an eye toward showing how it might bolster Rolston's metaethical stance. I will conclude by suggesting one way in which Lonergan's notion of moral self-transcendence might, in turn, be developed in light of Rolston's work.

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


2. Rolston's Critical Realism

Rolston'smetaphysics of projectivenature, let us note, is essentially a historicized version of the great chain of being: we are part of an evolutionary epic better understood through narrative models than through static metaphysical categories. The cosmological narrative recounts the storied achievement of projectivenature, which thrusts forwardincreasing levels of "value richness" over time. Moreover,the story of emergent natural value is based on modern science, not ancient mythology,and so it is more than just a "mythto live by,"a good metaphor. The contemporary Earth story is also a much improved map of reality, grounded in scientific realism yet open to the religious dimension as well. Within a cosmologicalnarrative, the Earth system is part of, and finds its origins in, an unfolding universe. A certain tentativeness marks Rolston's metaphysical commitments. On the one hand, he contends that we need an integral vision capable of attuning us to the larger prolife forces of the universe, a synoptic vision that provides a role for humanity in the cosmos (as moral overseers and storytellers) and that places us in proper relation to our fundamental sources of being and value, namely, projective nature and God. On the other hand, as Rolston pursues the task of formulating a comprehensive worldview and environmental ethic, he remains acutely aware of the various modern critiques leveled at classical metaphysics and cosmology.A direct retrieval of ancient or medieval worldviews is neither possible nor desirable, yet modern subjectivist value theory lacks the resources to fund a nonanthropocentric environmental ethic. This leads Rolston to a critical-realist endorsement of the new cosmology and a correspondingecological worldview- a metaphysics of projective nature. 2.1 The "correspondent truthfulness"of religion and science At the core of Rolston's metaethical thought, we find two related convictions. First, authentic subjectivity is the epistemological basis for objective truth claims in science, ethics, and religion. We can call this Rolston's virtue epistemology. Second, the redescription of nonhuman nature by recent science (ecology,evolutionary biology,and cosmology)is for Rolston the main component of an ecological worldview. The salient features of Rolston's critical-realist position come to light if we focus on his view of scientific and religious methods of inquiry. He holds that a qualified version of the correspondencemodel of truth complements a transformational model of ethical-religious truth- or what he calls "correspondenttruthfulness" (1987, 335-38). Pure science informs the value judgments of an ideal epistemic subject: the "sensitive


Journal of Religious Ethics

naturalist" who discerns natural value in and through an ecologically tutored wilderness experience. Rolston finds that scientific and religious inquiry have much in common. Differences remain, of course: whereas science formulates theories based on causality, religious creeds and the theologies that reflect on them offer frameworks of meaning and value. Still, both are rational pursuits, both employ governing theoretical paradigms, and both may undergo development in light of new experience (1987, 22-31). Before exploring the thesis of methodological affinities further, let us consider, in turn, Rolston's conceptions of scientific and religious inquiry. 2.2 Scientific practice, scientific truth Recent work in the philosophy and history of science informs Rolston's account of scientific inquiry.3Overall, he wants to illuminate the dimension of subjectivity in scientific practice yet also defend a criticalrealist notion of objectivity.Rolston the critical realist holds that scientific theories aim to represent natural entities and processes in the world; science seeks to discover and understand the nature of a subjectindependent reality. Against instrumentalism, then, he argues that scientific theories make tentative truth claims and are not simply useful fictions for prediction and control. At the same time, no perfect or complete correspondence exists between the language of scientific theory and reality "out there." A correspondencetheory of truth needs qualification. Unlike the naive realist, the critical realist recognizes the conceptual contribution of the knowing subject to theory formation within the context of discovery. Critical realism also acknowledges the incomplete, selective, and perspectival character of scientific theories, the wide scope and internal coherence of the natural sciences notwithstanding. The best available theories so far provide relatively adequate descriptions and explanations of the nature of things and events. This said, Rolston insists that our modern, scientific world-pictureis an accurate map of reality, if not the Absolute Truth. Granted, our current understanding of the astrophysical and microphysical realms shades off into unsettling notions of indeterminacy and relativity. Still, modern science yields cumulative results, even while it undergoes radical conceptual upheavals and, on occasion, paradigm shifts. At the biospheric level, for instance, we get from the ecological sciences what Rolston calls "nature for real," not merely the social construction of nature (Rolston 1997, 38).

3 The most influential sources for Rolston'sphilosophyof science are NorwoodHanson, Michael Polanyi, Imre Lakatos, Stephen Toulmin,and Ian Barbour.

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


Rolston subsumes the diversity of scientific proceduresunder a broad conception of the hypothetico-deductive method, understood as a frequently complex blend of theory, observation, and inference, in which the scientist "attempts to operate out of a theory in an if-then mode 'over'the facts"(1987, 2). At first, an explanatory hypothesis "emerges," through scientific insight, from an initial observation of data. This theory becomes the basis for deductions at the empirical level, followed by further observations that either uphold or undermine the theory. What is discovered is bound up with, indeed made possible by, the theoretical construct; what we "find"in experimentation are theory-laden facts. Then again, anomalous data may force a revision of theory, which, in turn, leads to new observations that may confirm or undercut the revised hypothesis. This revisionary process creates over time a developmental history for the theory in question. It is a progressive, spiraling process of further discovery if and when new theories lead to the prediction and corroboration of new observations or "novel facts" (Lakatos 1970). Much depends on the creative insights of the scientist, who catches as much truth as her theory-net can hold. As Rolston puts it, "[W]ecatch patterns with a frame of mind"(1987, 10). Despite the subjective element within scientific method, an objective knowledge of nature is possible. The basic test of truth for scientific knowledge is exacting: a hypothesis stands only so long as its predicted results are verified in repeated experimentation, while "negative observations" can quickly spell its end (or require an "auxiliary hypothesis" that accommodates the anomaly). For many scientists, the criterion of falsifiability remains foundational for truth claims. As Rolston points out, however, in practice a theory is often maintained through corroboration, despite some anomalies. Determinations of scientific truth require skillful judgment, exercised by the scientific community. Scientists must gauge a theory's degree of plausibility and explanatory power relative to competing hypotheses, given the evidence at hand. Typically, a proposed hypothesis will gain credibility over time; it is initially ranked as "merely speculative" and- with mounting evidence- advances toward the status of an established theory (the best so far). A case in point is the controversial global warming hypothesis, first proposed at the turn of the century, largely ignored until the early 1970s, and granted its scientific imprimatur just a few years ago by an international commission of climatologists. Until recently, it had been difficult to substantiate the claim that higher global temperatures in this century had resulted from humangenerated gases and not simply from natural fluctuations. The newly emerging scientific consensus has resulted from improvements in computer simulations; specifically, once the cooling effect of aerosols was factored in, the performance of computer models increased markedly


Journal of Religious Ethics

(Lemonick 1995). While the extent and severity of climatic disruptions in coming decades is uncertain, the theory of anthropogenic climate change is now well established. Furthermore, with grand-scale theories, there is seldom a straightforwardprocedurefor either verification or falsification. What matters for a theoretical paradigm, one large enough to be of metaphysical import, "is its ability to draw together and make sense of the available material, and in this the relationship between theory and observation is often indirect and interactional"(1987, 6). The pure/applieddistinction in science is important to Rolston'svalue theory because the differentmotive interests at work in each scientific approachimply different evaluative stances toward nonhuman nature. Applied science seeks to master and control the forces of nature; it is motivated by a practicalinterest in exploiting nature as a resource.While pure research may lead to new applications,its interest remains primarily theoretical;pure science seeks to discover"thenature of nature"(1988, 343)- that is, pure science describes and explains nonhuman nature as a reality with its own transcendingintegrity.This is not meant, of course,to deny the considerableimpact of humanity on the environment. Still, wild nature "precedesand exceeds us despite our dominion over it and our uniqueness within it. . ." (1989, 44). Pure science, when it adopts an evolutionary-cosmologicalperspective and shifts to narrative explanation, tells the story of projectivenature- the creative, fertile source of life at work long before applied science and technology sets upon it.4 2.3 Objectivityin religion and ethics Religious inquiry also combines theory, experience, and inference, albeit in its own distinct manner. Spiritual insight comes more through intensive participation than by detached observation. Theology reflects on past religious experience yet also shapes present belief and practice;
4 Rolston'sview of pure science may be contrasted with Martin Heidegger'scontention that natural science actually has a de-naturing effect on nature. For Heidegger,modern science conceals as much as it reveals the nature of nature; its objectifyingstance robs nature of its own powers of self-emergence (phusis), its integrity or self-standing. Experimental science sets upon nature as an object to be mastered and controlled;it effects a concrete ontology of nature, that of "standingreserve"or resource for technologicaldomination. On this view, the distinction between pure and applied science is invalid, since the formeris so thoroughlyimplicated in the latter. Thus, only poetic experience arising from "authenticdwelling"may allow for the disclosure of primordialnature (Heidegger 1977). By contrast, Rolston argues that pure scientific, aesthetic, and ethical visions of nature are complementary,not mutually exclusive. The distinction between pure scientific inquiry and other modes of experience should not be drawn too sharply.Against Heidegger, then, Rolston would say that pure science reveals systemic nature as a generative source of increasingly diverse, complex natural kinds and does not necessarily entail the reduction of nature to the status of a resource.

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


it is theory at the service of praxis. Theological concepts refine and enrich the initial unthematized perceptions of holiness, spiritual presence, and moral order in human experience. Classically understood, theology is inseparable from spirituality. Following Augustine, Rolston identifies "two epistemically biasing loves, the one is rectifying charity, the other is debilitating concupiscence"(1985, 127). The propercultivation of epistemic and moral virtues is a precondition for attaining higher levels of spiritual awareness. Religious knowing requires a detachment from the ego-self: for one to be right, one must be righteous. Authentic religious inquiry is thus an "expansive quest" beyond the limited ego-self to sacred reality: one passes from verbal confession and a cognitive grasp of doctrine to the silent wisdom of being caught up in (or grasped by, or resting in) the presence of God.5The entire process, marked by the interplay of theory and praxis, involves self-transformation within a communal setting as well as in solitude. Rolston says that "religionshares with science ... a concernfor objective rationality,only it knows far better than science that the path to true objectivity lies through subjective reformation"(1987, 31). A genuine spirituality promotesthe scientific quest. In science and religion alike, objectivity is gained by cultivating a proper receptivity and sensitivity to truth and value, "and this requires a joining of and education into a skilled community" (1987, 18). As an example, the community of well-trained naturalists is sensitive to an array of ecological values and aesthetic propertiesthat lie "beneath" picturesquescenery;they see more, and see more objectively,than the untrained eye. The achievement of objectivity demands a passionate commitmentto discoverthe public truth of the reality in question. Such a universal intent, reinforcedby a commuthe nity of inquiry,keeps personal bias in check.6Accordingly, capacity for is enhanced by personal qualities of honesty, humility, objectivejudgment
5 It is worth comparingRolston'snuanced discussion of mystagogy with Lonergan'saccount of the dynamic state of being in love with Godin an unrestricted fashion as an experience of holy mystery (1972/1990, 106-7). Lonergan describes mystical experience as a state of consciousnessbeyond cognitive operations and discursive knowledge:God'slove is an "unmediatedexperience of the mystery of love and awe" (1972/1990, 112). Lonergan's experiential-expressivedistinction between the personal "innerword"(a core religious experience) and the "outerword"of a communal religious tradition parallels Rolston'sview of the relation between theology and spirituality, where theology (along with creed and doctrine)functions as a conceptualeducation of spiritual perception. 6 Rolston'spoint is similar to Lonergan'scentral claim that the dynamic structure of our consciousness impels us to be attentive, intelligent, reasonable, responsible, and lovof ing. The "optimalperformance" attentiveness, intelligence, reasonableness, responsibility, and love by an authentic subjectyields a cognitive and moral objectivity.Our fidelity to these built-in norms of consciousness, or what Lonergan calls "transcendentalimperatives," is in dialectical tension with the distorting effects of various biases (1972/1990, 52-55).


Journal of Religious Ethics

and selflessness in the scientist as well as the saint. The truth, as known, truthfulness"in the knower (1985, 2). requires a "correspondent In the communal search for truth, there is a continuum ranging from relative detachment to existential involvement:
Every discipline requires its relevant sensitivity; and learning and thinking in the biophysical and social sciences, so far as they operate empirically, are simpler morally, aesthetically, and spiritually, however complex a causal logic may be used, than these are in religion. Proportionally as truths become more significant, combining cosmic with personal importance, they require more sensitivity for their reception [1987, 21].

Intensive participation does not preclude claims to objectivityin religion and ethics, for such objectivity is a function of (1) the competence of an authentic knower and (2) an intersubjective context in which a consensus may emerge among those within a community who are competent to judge. In both science and religion, our vision of reality is a patterned knowing; "ourobservations are formed within gestalts" (1987, 8). A theoretical model that organizes a wide field of experience and so facilitates our "interpretive seeing" in a fruitful way becomes, over time, a generally accepted paradigm. "Paradigms are governing models that, in some fairly broad range of experience, set the context of explanation and intelligibility"(1987, 8). A time-tested paradigm is not easily dismissed, for it provides an operative worldview and carries an authority derived from communal assent. A ruling paradigm, whether scientific or religious, offers a central image or root metaphor for interpreting ongoing events:
A good paradigm has a maplike character in that reality is selected and represented through it so as to fit into a kind of basic picture: Newtonian mechanism portrays the world as a great machine; Darwinian evolutionary survival of the fittest portrays the world primarily as a jungle; behaviorism sees life-environment interactions as stimuli and responses; physics views protons, electrons, and photons as both waves and particles. God is a Father, Shepherd, and Creator. Jesus is the normative person. The Church is the body of Christ. Persons get "lost"and "saved".. . . Imagery is present alike in science and religion, and to become aware of the representational or symbolic character here is to realize that these critical affirmations are maps rather than exact pictures of reality [1987, 8].

Typically,an established paradigm undergoes revision over time, yet it may be overthrown by a new paradigm in moments of "revolutionary science"or religious reformation.In Rolston'sjudgment, the development of scientific theories and religious creeds in history has been, overall, progressive in character.While acceptingThomas Kuhn'snotion of paradigm shifts in the history of science, Rolston rejects his relativistic conclusion: paradigmshifts are not just differentconceptualvocabulariescominginto

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


vogue; rather, more recent theories are most often better approximations of the natural world. The heliocentric and evolutionary models of nature, for instance, have rendered certain ancient views permanently obsolete. According to Rolston, ecology has radically revised the earlier Darwinian emphasis on nature's ceaseless strife, and this redescription of nature has enormous implications for a new environmental ethic. Conflict and struggle in nature are now set within a "dynamicweb of life" that includes the elements of cooperationand interdependence. The evolutionary ecosystem stimulates the creation of new life forms as much by environmental resistance as by conductivity. Despite the undeniable presence of disvalues in nature (predation, parasitism, and so on), "the natural system is pro-life, prolific"(1992, 252). The standard Darwinian picture conceals as much as it discloses:
Nature is random, contingent, blind, disastrous, wasteful, indifferent, selfish, cruel, clumsy, ugly, struggling, full of suffering, and, ultimately, death? This sees only the shadows, and there has to be light to cast shadows. Nature is orderly,prolific, efficient, selecting for adapted fit, exuberant, complex, diverse, renews life in the midst of death, struggling through to something higher. There are disvalues as surely as there are values, and the disvalues systemically drive the value achievements [1992, 275].

Viewed systemically and within an evolutionary timeframe, the "perpetual perishing" of life forms is necessary for the continuing creativity of protective nature. "The integrity of species and individual," Rolston writes, "is a function of a field where fullness lies in interlocking predation and symbiosis, construction and destruction, aggradation and degradation"(1989, 25). In the new ecological paradigm, then, disvalues are reinterpreted as contributory to the emergence of increasingly diverse, complex natural kinds- each with its own situated fitness. This redescription of nonhuman nature suggests a revaluation as well, for a worldview implies an ethic. Rolston's vision of projective nature situates humans and their cultures in an always already valueladen natural world. The human capacity for worldview formation, moral oversight, and planetary altruism contributes to a unique kind of situated fitness for humanity in the ongoing Earth story: a sensitive earth residence in which humans develop and live out a nonanthropocentric ethic of care and responsibility for the home planet (1988, 33541). Pure environmental science thus yields an ecological worldview that complements our capacity for moral oversight. 2.4 Wilderness,virtue, and the sensitive naturalist Rolston's virtue epistemology takes a high view of the human capacity for cognitive and moral self-transcendence. His environmental ethic


Journal of Religious Ethics

accords a central place to the ideal epistemic subject:the ecologically tutored sensitive naturalist whose moral objectivity is achieved by cultivating the epistemic virtues of love, faith, purity, and humility. Here the sensitive naturalist is analogous to the religious seer: an epistemic privilege is granted to those who love truth and are pure of heart, whether naturalist or saint (1985, 34-72). Just as the disciple renounces her "worldlyself in order to seek God in contemplative solitude, so a sensitive naturalist may temporarily put aside her "cultural self in order to encounter wild nature. Rolston tells us that "wild nature is a place of encounter where we go not to act on it, but to contemplate, drawing ourselves into its order of being, not drawing it into our order of being" (1989, 43). The sensitive naturalist comes to reside in a biotic community,relating to neighbor species through a felt sense of biological kinship (biophilia) while learning to respect alien species on their own terms (1989, 124-28). In humility one comes to realize the narrowness of an exclusively human-centered viewpoint in the face of nature's transcending integrity. Wilderness experience has a way of putting us in our place. Again, just as the saint grows in the knowledge and love of God, the ultimate source of life and value, so also the sensitive naturalist comes to know and love wild nature as a penultimate source of life and value. From the outset, wilderness experience is informed by the paradigm of community ecology.Ecological concepts enhance perception of natural kinds and their "situated fitness" within ecosystems; one is sensitized to biological goodness with the aid of an ecological paradigm. Scientific knowledge is thus a necessary but not a sufficient condition for proper valuation. In one suggestive formulation, Rolston describes the act of valuing as "a further, nonneutral way of knowing. ... an advanced kind of experience where a more sophisticated, living instrument is required to register natural properties" (1989, 104). He says, further, that "the more we know the more there is to see, and the more there is to be admired" (1994, 122). In sum, Rolston's theory of objective natural value depends heavily on a maximal ethic of self-transcendence, as the unique human capacity for worldview formation, moral oversight, and planetary altruism comes to realization in the sensitive naturalist, who is capable of discovering facts and values simultaneously in the wild. In and through an ecologically tutored wilderness experience, the sensitive naturalist undergoes a "gestalt shift." One moves from an anthropocentric view of nature-as-resource to an ecocentric view of wild nature as an always already value-laden community.As a model for this epistemic context, we do not have an isolated subject "looking in" at natural objects;this kind of "dyadicrelation"is unecological. Instead, a relational model situates the epistemic subject within the natural field as a participant-observer.Here the self is "enclosedby its environment,

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


so that the self values in environmental exchange. . . . The self has a semipermeable membrane"(1989, 100). Participation in the events and processes of wild nature, coupled with a detachment from self-concern, yields a heightened sensitivity to intrinsic natural value. 2.5 Persisting criticisms Beyond applied science, the pursuit of pure scientific understanding is intrinsically rewarding, as we get "let in on nature's show."Rolston writes, "Thestory of applied science has been one of learning to remake the world in human interests, to use it resourcefully; but the story of pure science has been one of discovering the nature of nature, learning the story of our sources"(1988, 343). However, for a neopragmatist the claim that "purescience"can deliver an accurate world-picture appears suspect; at best, new scientific paradigms are simply metaphorical redescriptions that seem more fruitful at the present time. For Rolston'scritics, scientific practice is always "appliedscience"in one way or another; science does not deliver us "nature for real,"but rather nature as social construct. Rolston sees but a half-truth in the point that scientific truth claims are conditioned by language and social location. Doubtless the scientific community is influenced by and subsequently reflects the value system of the larger society. Still, pure science enjoys a relative autonomy, and when practiced with integrity, it can describe facts about the real world independent of subjective bias or group interest. The concept of predation, for example, may be a theoretical construct, but the fact of predation is not invented by the human mind and then projected onto a "nature"that is, really, unknowable as it is in itself. Rather, predators and prey are there in nature- for real. Rolston quips that "all those persons who did not think that lion' refers to a real predator lurking in the grass are extinct"(1997, 42). Moreover,we can also make objectivevalue judgments in close correlation with the ecological facts. As an example, let us consider the claim of biological value at the level of a nonsentient organism. Rolston, as we have noted, believes that all organisms possess an autonomous intrinsic value, though not in equal measure, since the emergence of sentience in higher animals and the "eminence of personality" in human beings amount to qualitative differences in "value richness" (1988, 71-75). Gradations of value aside, we can agree that nonsentient organisms are self-maintaining systems; they exhibit patterns of growth and respond to stimuli; they reproduce, and they resist death; they establish and maintain a distinct identity even as they engage in environmental exchange. An internal order is composed amidst the disintegrating tendencies of external nature. As Rolston puts it, "Lifeis a local countercurrent to entropy"(1988, 97). A


Journalof ReligiousEthics

nonsentientorganismis thus a nonmoral normativesystem,an "objectwith-will" developstowardan optimalstate of being a state of mathat turity and health. Each biologicalkind, then, has a "good-of-its-kind" and defendsitself as a "good kind"(1988,97-104). This is what Rolston means by autonomousintrinsic value at the individuallevel. Recall, however,that individualorganisms also possess instrumentalvalue exwithinthe bioticcommunity. Rolstonexplains,"[T]he As competing, of changing,and intermeshing goodsin everyecosystemmeansthat the is situated.Everything what it is in goodsof organismsare contextually relationto other things, but every organismis what it spontaneously seeks to be"(1988, 102). that intrinsic value is always Despite Rolston'sacknowledgment him with committing naturalcriticscharge the situated," "contextually of istic fallacy(see Callicott1992).A genericdescription the organism has passed over, seeminglyunnoticed,into positive valuation. In response, Rolston admits that science cannot generate values of itself. Strictlyspeaking,Hume's is/oughtgapis true in the sense that scientific do not logicallyentail evaluativeconclusions (1987,342).This premises ontonature doesnot mean,however, that valueis absentuntil projected humanvaluers.Rather,scientificinquiryby itself is not an adequate by meansfordetectingnaturalvalue,since"amoresophisticated, livinginstrumentis required" (1989, 104). Has Rolstonadequately the explained epistemictransitionfromwhat I suspect,will continueto find his is to what is good?Rolston's critics, To positionunconvincing. some,his appealto the visionof an ideal epistemic subjectappearsesotericor elitist; at best, he offersa "conversion ethic"acceptable wildernessadvocates,perhaps,but not availableas to a publically sharedvalue-set. In a recentpaper,ScottDavishas criticized sectarianmentalityof the someradicalecologists, on whobase theirmilitantenvironmentalism an ineffable"wilderness that is not unlikethe religiousexperiexperience" ence of the mystic studied by WilliamJames. The problem,as James noted, is that truth claims arising from mystical experienceare only authoritative the mystic;they cannotserve as a resourcefor practifor cal moral action or a shared sense of the commongood.Davis sees a on parallelin the relianceof certainradicalenvironmentalists a "wilderness puritanism"that effectively relegates their cause to marginal status (1997). Is Rolston's positionvulnerableto such a critique?In my judgment, Rolston's"conversion ethic"is more catholicthan sectarianin character. His argument for a science-basedethic appeals to all persons of reasonand matureconscience, simplythose baptizedinto wildernot ness. Granted, the discoveryof intrinsic natural value in the wild requires an epistemically virtuous, self-transcending subject. A

and Rolston,Lonergan, theIntrinsicValueof Nature


naturalist must cultivate a sensitivity to value throughan educative processthat includesmomentsof withdrawal(wildernesssolitude)and return (interactionwith other naturalists). This scientific and moral of educationbegins with an initial apprehension naturalvalue, which made is then refinedand enrichedthroughincreasingcomprehension "themorewe knowthe morethere possibleby an ecologicalparadigm: is to see, and the morethere is to admire" (Rolston1994, 122). Even if we concedethat the humancapacityfor moraloversightand in or planetaryaltruismlies dormant undeveloped many,still it is realof ized impressively some.Whatthe community sensitivenaturalists by wildernessexperience a vision of intrinsic discovers throughinformed - can be communicated a widerpublicandheld in comto naturalvalue monbelief,and notjust believedin the abstractbut lived out concretely Giventhe realities of limitedacin a thousandlocal earth residences.7 alternative. cess to wildernessforthe many,this is the only practicable Rolston'secologicallytutored wildernessexperience,while remaining the provinceof a few, neverthelessyields a naturalisticethic that is morepubliclyaccessibleand morereadilyarticulatedthan an ineffable encounterwith the holy.In theory,the sensitive naturalistrepresents and an ideal epistemictype, but in practicethe community traditionof JohnMuir,AldoLeopold, Ragreatnaturalists HenryDavidThoreau, DavidBrower, Jane Goodall, and E. O. chel Carson, JacquesCousteau, to for Wilson, namea few- set a standardof excellence the rest of us. We values underwriting a can end up with publiclysharedenvironmental of wildernesspreservation even when the initial recognistrongpolicy and of tion, appreciation, promotion such values comesfroma creative minority. 3. The Relevance of Lonergan's Method Rolston's argument,I submit,canbe furtherclarified epistemological transcendental and strengthened appropriating method. by Lonergan's WhileRolston's criticalrealismis soundfor the most part, Lonergan's Rolstonwith a moreadequateaccountof theorymayprovide cognitional howknowingand valuingare related.

7 CompareLonerganon the role of belief in communalvalue-formationand on the private and public impact of conversion (1972/1990, 41-47, 130-31). While high-quality nature programs on television and nature photography have oriented millions of modern urbanites to an ecologicalworldview,it is not clear whether the dissemination of this new outlook is creating a shallow environmentalism little more than "green"consumerism and recycling or the beginnings of a genuine sea change in human attitudes and behavior toward nonhuman nature.


Journalof ReligiousEthics

3.1 Knowing of Lonergan presentsa phenomenology cognitional processthat is, in to verification all. By attendingto ourowncognitional principle, open by activity,we can identifya dynamicstructureor patternof basic opera8 tions at workin all instancesofknowingandvaluing(1972/1990, 13). 6The intentionaloperations consciousness of formthe basis of transcendentalmethod,the "common core" all specializedmethodsof inquiry of in the sciencesand humanities. A focusingof attention on our own cognitionalactivity reveals four levels of consciousness: understanding, judging,and deexperiencing, ciding. Driven by the desire to know,these four levels or successive in with each level presupstages unfoldspontaneously consciousness, posing and sublating previous ones. One first attends to the data of sense and of consciousnessgiven in immediate experience.What calls "empirical consciousness" thus providesdata for underLonergan we standing.Spontaneously moveto a secondlevel of intellectualconsciousnessas we begin to enquireaboutthe intelligibilityof the data. Our initial questioningpreparesthe way for the key event of insight, that "eureka moment" when one graspsan intelligibilityimmanentand emergentin the data. This directinsight then finds expressionin a formulatedconcept(1957/1978,3-13). The desire for correctunderstanding impels us to ask questionsfor reflection: the insight certainlytrue, or hedgedwith some degreeof Is due to incompleteknowledge? Can we verify it? Hence, a probability third,rationallevel of consciousness emergesto reflecton what is given in understanding, gatheringandweighingthe evidencein ordertojudge a the veracityof insight. One now seeks reflectiveunderstanding, furfor therinsightregarding necessaryand sufficientconditions affirmthe ing the truth. An internal criterion of adequacy for judging the truth-statusof a reflectiveinsight operates at this level, namely the presenceor absence of further relevant questions.Unless blockedor distortedby subjective factors,furtherquestionsaboutthe objectunder study will arise if the insight is not solidlygroundedin sufficienteviif dence;conversely, the insight does,in fact, "hitthe bull'seye,"then no other relevant questions will come to mind. In the latter case, one arrivesat an "invulnerable insight,"and so an idea at first merelyconan objectactuallyknown.In positiveaffirmaas sideredis nowaffirmed tion, we claim objectiveknowledgeof the real, the factual. Tojudge
8 In Insight (first published in 1957), Lonergan'sposition on the knowing subject appears to privilege cognitive operations as most distinctive of human being. In later writings, most fully in Method in Theology (1972), he works out a more comprehensive, integrated view of human subjectivity,one that incorporates affectivity, existential freedom, historicity,and intersubjectivitymore fully into a transcendental method.

Rolston, Loner gan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


beforeall relevant questions are settled is to be rash, while refusal to affirm an insight despite the apparent exhaustion of all pertinent questions is to be indecisive. Critical reasonableness or good judgment, which is developed over time in and through the self-correcting process of learning, will find the mean between the extremes of rashness and indecision (1957/1978, 280-87). Knowing, then, is not simply a matter of "takinga good look"--that is, it is not an immediate intuition. Rather, it is a discursive process that involves experiencing and understanding and judging- the multileveled achievement of a critical realist. Lonergan'saccount reorients modern epistemology by insisting upon a third level of rational judgment as a "constitutive component of full human knowing," a component that Immanuel Kant and his followers failed to grasp with full clarity (1957/ 1978, 413-14). The objectivity of factual judgment arises out of the normative exigencies of human intelligence and human reasonableness and is achieved in acts of cognitive self-transcendence. It follows that the optimal performanceof a human subject underlies the success of the scientific method. For a critical realist, objectivity is the result of authentic subjectivity. In sum, Lonergan meets the challenge of modern subjectivism and its attendant relativism not by re-asserting a classicist metaphysics, but by advancing reflection on the invariant structure of consciousness as the operational basis for objective truth claims. 3.2 From knowing to valuing One implication of Lonergan's robust defense of critical realism is that it allows Rolston to refute Harlow's critique more convincingly.Instead of regressing to a classical metaphysics, as Harlow suggests, we have in Lonergan'swork the epistemological grounds for affirming Rolston's historical ontology of projective nature, which is consonant with Lonergan's scientific worldview- what he calls "emergent probability" - as well as his "metaphysics of proportionate being" (1957/1978, 11528, 390-96). Lonergan's cognitional theory, I would suggest, renders Rolston's remarkably similar account more explicit and systematic. Rolston's scientific realism is more plausible in light of Lonergan's cognitional theory, especially at the level of reflective judgment. To be fair, Rolston is clear on how immediate experience is enriched by conceptual understanding - a view that parallels Lonergan's account of insight into data. However, Rolston does not articulate as clearly as Lonergan the further operation ofjudging and its relation to the final level of consciousness. It is in the transition from knowing to valuing that Lonergan'saccount sheds light on Rolston's position.


Journal of Religious Ethics

Accordingto Lonergan, human subjectivity emerges most fully in and through value judgments and decisions made at the fourth level of responsible consciousness. Spontaneously one moves from rational judgment to moral deliberation. Now the question becomes: Is it truly good? Here knowing and feeling become integrated as rational consciousness is sublated by conscience. Lonergan says that "just as intelligence sublates sense, just as reasonableness sublates intelligence, so deliberation sublates and thereby unifies knowing and feeling"(1974/1996, 277). I take it that Lonergan is identifying four distinct operations at the fourth level: in and through "deliberation,evaluation, decision, action, we can know and do, not just what pleases us, but what truly is good, worth while" (1972/1990, 35). At the level of rational self-consciousness, one's actual judgments of value and the decision to act in accordance with them can be seen as two distinct yet closely related moments: deliberation and evaluation culminate in recognizing and affirming the good, what I am calling the "first moment"of value judgment, while decision and action follow thereafter in a "secondmoment."We move from value judgments to an actual commitment and subsequent action. Closer analysis of the dynamics at work in the first moment, judgments of value, discloses that feelings are the key to our apprehension of a range of values; they constitute a "heart knowledge"or form of "affective cognition"in their own right.9For Lonergan, feelings are "an intentional response to value," orienting us to two basic categories of objects: the merely satisfying or the valuable per se. The latter are of two types: "the ontic value of persons or the qualitative value of beauty, understanding, truth, virtuous acts, noble deeds" (1972/1990, 31).10A felt response to value- whether ontic or qualitative- is an act of moral selftranscendence; we go beyond ourselves to recognize and appreciate some person or object as inherently valuable, not just satisfying to us. The apprehension of ontic or qualitative values is marked by feelings of joy and delight, by positive affection. Such an apprehension is "apivotal act of affective cognition that is the initial outcome of deliberation"(Vertin 1995, 236). Self-transcending feelings orient us to a world of value, beyond the cul-de-sac of egoism or group interest.

9 The term "affectivecognition"is Michael Vertin's(1995, 236). In what follows, I am adoptingVertin'sinterpretation of Lonerganon value judgment. 10 It is importantto emphasize that moral deliberationand evaluation aim to determine the "onticvalue"of persons as well as the "qualitativevalue"of various entities and types of action. Here I take Lonerganto mean that at the fourth level, one is not just asking, What am I to do?What course of action is the most responsibleone?Rather,the priorquestion is, What is good(in itself, in its own being)?An answer to the latter question is presupposedby the former.Moreover, a contemplativestate, one can simply enjoythe existence of an acin tual value (moralor otherwise)without doing anything (except letting it be).

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


While feelings toward objects arise spontaneously within consciousness, the developing subject may intentionally reinforce or suppress those feelings; over time, one forms a set of habitual likes and dislikes. In this process of affective development, attention to and interest in fully understanding an object (what we earlier called universal intent) may grow as one's attentive study of an object allows for the enrichment and refinement of feeling toward it. As these self-transcending feelings grow in intensity and duration, the subject forms a habitual concern for and enhanced understanding of the object, most powerfully witnessed in the event of falling in love (1972/1990, 33).11 In Lonergan'smethod, the transcendental notion of value designates our radical openness to all that is genuinely valuable. Whatever the object, we ask questions for moral deliberation that orient us to the discovery and affirmation of value. "So when I ask whether this is truly and not merely apparently good, whether that is or is not worth while, I do not yet know value but I am intending value" (1972/1990, 33-34). Now just as the transcendental orientation to truth finds partial fulfillment in correctjudgments of fact at the third level of rational consciousness, so one may make correct judgments of value at the fourth level of responsible consciousness that partly meet the transcendental thrust toward value. Lonergan thus affirms a moral realism: evaluation turns on the apprehension of value through self-transcending feelings, or what Michael Vertin calls a "deliberative insight," which enables one to correctly grasp and responsibly affirm the goodness of a subjectindependent reality (Vertin 1995, 228, 231-38). Here the internal criterion of adequacy for a deliberative insight is structurally similar to reflective insight.12The latter identifies the presence or absence of further relevant questions in its pursuit of an invulnerable insight; the former identifies the presence or absence of a peaceful conscience. If no further misgivings or pangs of conscience arise, then one has grounds for a correct evaluation, for affirming the value in question. With judgments of value, then, three elements come together: (1) the antecedent knowledge of reality ascertained in judgments of fact, (2) the apprehension of value given in self-transcending feelings, and (3) an evaluation based on a deliberative insight that is formally similar in structure to reflective insight. The value of an object comes to be known in and through a mediate cognitional-affective process (as opposed to immediate intuition) that is a matter of discovery rather than projection. Recalling our initial discussion of intrinsic value, we can say that
11CompareRolston on studential, devotional, and charitable love in religious inquiry (1985, 34-42). 12As Lonergannotes, "Judgmentsof value differ in content but not in structure from judgments of fact"(1972/1990, 37).


Journal of Religious Ethics

the objectitself is both the source and locus of value, while apprehension and conceptualization of such value is accomplished by a morally selftranscendent subject. Like Rolston's sensitive naturalist, Lonergan's authentic subject is capable of recognizing and appreciating objective value. Granted, the full realization of moral self-transcendence is a difficult lifelong challenge; each moral biographyhas its own breakthroughs and high moments yet also its blind spots, backslidings, and shameful failures. Knowing what is good provides no guarantee that one will do what is right. Biases and distorted feelings can inhibit the subject's ability to be attentive, intelligent, reasonable, responsible, and loving in a sustained fashion. More radically,human beings face the problem of "moral impotence"(1957/1978, 627-30). Though the actual achievement of sustained virtue and loving kindness is rare, good women and men are nevertheless found among us. Affective and moral conversions set people on a new course. The importance of moral self-transcendence for Lonergan'sview cannot be underestimated, since it is the genuinely virtuous and loving subject who is most capable of making correctjudgments of value. Indeed, the basic standard for correct judgments of value is personal- that is, the standard is "the person in his self-transcendence, as loving and being loved, as originator of values in himself and in his milieu, as an inspiration and invitation to others to do likewise" (1972/1990, 32). Lonergan's morally self-transcendent subject makes true judgments and takes appropriate action in one of two possible modes: contemplative and active. One can also distinguish between actual values in existence and merely possible values present in the moral imagination of an authentic subject. Combined,these distinctions chart the gradations between reflection and practice, between enjoyment and obligation. Thus, one response to actual value is contemplative enjoyment; one follows a principle of noninterference or letting-be. So, for example, a wilderness trekker following "zeroimpact"hiking rules can enjoy wild nature without disrupting it. Another response is active concern, as when the wilderness trekker becomes an advocate for preserving wild nature. A response to merely possible value is either contemplative (mere speculation) or an active attempt to bring a possible value into being; given the right conditions, one seeks to transform what is into what ought to be.13
13 Withjust a few terminologicalchanges, I am followingVertin'sanalysis of deliberative insight into actual and merely possible values: "Avalue judgment that manifests an actual value belongs to a conscious intentional process in the pattern of complacency,the process that properlyterminates in a decision to enjoy the actual value. Any such value judgment must be precededby a judgment of actual fact. Alternatively,a value judgment that manifests a merely possible value belongs to a conscious intentional process in the

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


By means of this example, it becomes apparent that Lonergan's transcendental method is applicable to the field of environmental ethics.

4. Expandingthe HumanGoodto PlanetaryAltruism

In conclusion, I want to argue that Lonergan's thought can and should be extended beyond the range and scope of the human good. Using Rolston's sensitive naturalist, we can develop Lonergan'saccount of moral self-transcendence to include a recognition and appreciation of the ontic and qualitative values of nonhuman nature. Indeed, the inner logic of moral self-transcendence- the heart of which is a radical openness to all genuine value- compels us to take seriously the intrinsic natural value claim, even if Lonergan himself does not explore this dimension. In the unlabored contexts of pure science and wilderness experience (the contemplative mode), the sensitive naturalist recognizes and appreciates (to adopt Lonergan's terms) both ontic and qualitative values in wild nature. Accordingto Rolston:
[W]eneed wild nature precisely because it is a realm of values that are independent of us. . . . Wild nature has a kind of integrity, and we are the poorerif we do not recognize it and enjoy it. ... Such genuine nature precedes and exceeds us despite all our dominion over it or our uniqueness within it, and its spontaneous value is the reason why contact with nature can be re-creating. . . . The sensitive naturalist is again and again surprised by nature, being converted to its values and delighted by it just because he or she has gone beyond previous, narrowly human values. It is the autonomous otherness of the natural expressions of value that we learn to love. . . [Rolston 1989, 44].

The development of self-transcending feelings toward nature (biophilia) reaches an advanced stage in the sensitive naturalist, whose judgments of objective natural value follow from a reflective grasp of ecological facts. Correct judgments of natural value presuppose a capacity for moral self-transcendence, or what Rolston calls moral oversight and planetary altruism. As Lonergan points out, however, biases and distorted feelings may frustrate the subject's quest for authenticity. To overcome this moral impotence, one must undergo an affective and
pattern of concern,the process that properlyterminates in a decision to attempt actualizais tion of the possible value"(Vertin 1995, 239). The use of the term "complacency" potentially misleading, I think, since it seems to suggest an overly passive or even apathetic so response on the part of the subject. The better term is "contemplative," long as it is unis derstood in a generic sense. The choice of "concern" also potentially misleading, since the basic attitude of concern (or caring about x) is present in both the contemplative and active modes of valuing.


Journal of Religious Ethics

moral conversion. The sensitive naturalist, having undergone an ecological conversion, "goes beyond"narrowly human concerns, that is, beyond the debilitating effect of anthropocentric bias. An ecological conversion opens up a new horizon, reorienting our feelings toward a wild nature "that we learn to love."Finally, contemplative enjoyment of natural value requires adherence to the principle of noninterference or letting-be; the sensitive naturalist thus advocates a strong policy of wilderness preservation. while focusedexcluTosum up, Lonergan'saccountof moral objectivity, sively on the human good,closely resembles that of Rolston.Both thinkers require the cultivation of epistemic virtues, most especially a selftranscending love, as a preconditionfor scientific and moral knowledge. Lonergan'scritical realism is groundedin the human subject'srealization of cognitive, moral, and religious self-transcendence. Similarly, Rolston points to the human capacity for worldview formation, moral oversight, and planetary altruism as the epistemological foundation for a theory of objectivenatural value. I have tried to show that Lonergan'smethodological rigor enhances Rolston's critical-realist epistemology, especially with regard to the interrelationship between cognitive operations and moral deliberation. We also have broached the possibility that Rolston's sensitive naturalist may open up a previously unexplored dimension of Paradoxically,human Lonergan'sthought on moral self-transcendence.14 reveals itself most fully when self-transcendinghumans fully uniqueness recognize and respect the autonomous intrinsic value of the more-thanhuman.

14 See Nunez 1997 for a more detailed explorationof the relevance of Rolston'senvironmental ethic to Lonergan'sphilosophyof the subject.

Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Valueof Nature


Barbour,Ian G. 1974 Myths, Models, and Paradigms. New York:Harper and Row. Callicott, J. Baird Value Theory and Environmental Ethics." 1984 "Non-Anthropocentric American Philosophical Quarterly21:299-309. "Rolston on Intrinsic Value: A Deconstruction." Environmental 1992 Ethics 14.2:129-43. Davis, G. Scott 1997 "ConversionEthics: Environmental Activism and the Legacy of John Muir."Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, January 10, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hanson, NorwoodR. Patterns in Discovery.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press. 1958 Harlow,Elizabeth "TheHuman Face of Nature: EnvironmentalValues and the Limits 1992 Environmental Ethics 14.1:27-42. of Nonanthropocentrism." Heidegger, Martin Basic Writings. Edited by David Farrell Krell. New York:Harper 1977 and Row. Thomas S. Kuhn, 1970 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2d ed. Chicago:University of Chicago Press. Lakatos, Imre "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Pro1970 grammes."In Criticism and the Growthof Knowledge, edited by I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave, 91-196. Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press. Lee, Keekok "TheSource and Locus of Intrinsic Value:A Reexamination."Envi1996 ronmentalEthics 18.3:297-309. Lemonick,Michael D. 1995 Time, October2, 54-55. "Headingfor Apocalypse?" Lonergan, Bernard J. F. 1978 Reprint. Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. New York: Harper & Row. Original edition, London: The Longman Group, 1957. 1990 Reprint. Method in Theology.Toronto:University of TorontoPress. Original edition, Great Britain: Darton, Longman, and Todd,Ltd., 1972. 1996 Reprint. A Second Collection. Edited by William F. J. Ryan and Bernard J. Tyrrell, with a new introduction. Toronto:University of Toronto Press. Original edition, London: Darton, Longman, and Todd,Ltd., 1974.


Journal of Religious Ethics

Norton, Bryan 1991 Toward Unity among Environmentalists. New York:Oxford University Press. Nunez, TheodoreW. 1997 "WildernessExperience and Natural Value: A Horizon Analysis of Rolston'sStance."Paper presented at the annual convention of the College Theology Society,June 1, in San Diego, California. O'Neill, John 1992 "TheVarieties of Intrinsic Value."Monist 75.2:119-37. Polanyi, Michael 1958 Personal Knowledge.Chicago:University of Chicago Press. Regan, Tom 1981 "TheNature and Possibility of an Environmental Ethic."Environmental Ethics 3.1:19-34. Bernard Rollin, 1993 "IntrinsicValue for Nature: An Incoherent Basis for Environmental Concern." Free Inquiry 13:18-32. Rolston, Holmes 1985 Religious Inquiry- Participation and Detachment. New York: Philosophical Library. 1987 Science and Religion: A Critical Survey. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press. 1988 Environmental Ethics: Duties to and Values in the Natural World. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press. 1989 Philosophy Gone Wild.Buffalo, N.Y.:Prometheus Books. 1992 "Disvalues in Nature."Monist 75.2:250-78. 1994 ConservingNatural Value.New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press. In 1997 "Naturefor Real: Is Nature a Social Construct?" The Philosophy of the Environment, edited by T. D. J. Chappell, 38-64. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Taylor,Paul 1986 Respectfor Nature. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Toulmin,Stephen 1972 Human Understanding. Vol. 1. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Vertin, Michael 1995 "Judgmentsof Value, for the Later Lonergan."Method:Journal of Lonergan Studies 13:221-48. Weston, Anthony 1985 "Beyond Intrinsic Value: Pragmatism in Environmental Ethics." Environmental Ethics 7:321-39.