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Ecological reasoning revisited
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CitationKüçükural, Ö., Yılmaz, F. (2018). Ecological reasoning revisited. 4th International Symposium on Enviroment and Morals, 27 June 2018, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ecological reasoning has been a subject of discussion for some time now. The earliest references to it dates back to 1983 when John S. Dryzek wrote his article on ‘ecological rationality’.3 In this article, Dryzek discussed the problem of collective decision making and argued that ‘ecological rationality’ is a more fundamental form of reason than all other forms of rationality - political, economic, technical, legal and social4 - and hence should take precedence over them when making collective decisions or public policies.5 Dryzek gave the utmost importance to ‘ecological rationality’ because he claimed that “the preservation of the life-support systems upon which human beings depend is a precondition to the continued existence of society.”6 Although, he argued that ecological reasoning should set the standard of reasoning, he didn’t make it clear what ecological reasoning entails. This paper aims to explore the incurrent patterns of ‘ecological reasoning’ through observations of instances of reasoning by self-claimed ecological reasoners in an ethnographic research. In our in depth interviews (48 owners and managers of greentech and consultancy firms in Portugal and Turkey) some of our interlocutors, self claimed ecological reasoners, said that they need to translate their ecological reasoning into economical reasoning in order to appeal to their customers. In other words, in order to make sense, they need to frame their ecological concerns in economic terms. However, contrary to the clarity of economic reasoning, ecological reasoning manifests in a foggy terrain. What are the characteristics of reasoning pattern that make it ecological? Economic reasoning manifests itself in profit maximization, interest seeking etc. However ecological reasoning is a camelon, the colours oscillates between attributing intrinsic value to nature on the one hand; and it gains the colour of means-end rationality on the other.