Environmental Ethics as Applied to Outdoor Physical Practices: An Analysis Through the Lens of Hans Jonas

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Long, Thierry, Bazin, Damien, & Bai, Heesoon. (2018). Environmental Ethics as Applied to Outdoor Physical Practices: An Analysis Through the Lens of Hans Jonas. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 12(2), 194–210. https://doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2017.1341949

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outdoor activities
environmental responsibility

In a period of moral crisis and dark ecological issues, sport is often called to boost individual moral development. That is how outdoor activities are viewed as good educational practices to enhance environmental responsibility. However, these activities are following the same technological development as the whole society. As a consequence, in line with Jonas’ thinking (1984), do outdoor activities really enhance environmental responsibility? This paper will base its writing on a qualitative inquiry using interviews of outdoor activities practitioners (mountain guides and white water sports instructors). The results show that environmental responsibility development depends on the sport contexts. It is fostered in slow and none-technological activities (like trekking) and lowered in fast and technological activities (like canyoning, kayaking …). The discussion of our paper underlines the following paradox: technology enforces the birth of environmental responsibility (Jonas, 1984) and may prevent its development at the same time… as shown by our preliminary results.

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