29 Facts About Clare Palmer


Clare Palmer has previously held academic appointments at the University of Greenwich, the University of Stirling, Lancaster University and Washington University in St Louis, among others.


Clare Palmer is a former editor of the religious studies journal Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, and a former president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics.


In Environmental Ethics and Process Thinking, which was based on her doctoral research, Clare Palmer explores the possibility of a process philosophy-inspired account of environmental ethics, focussing on the work of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne.


Clare Palmer ultimately concludes that a process ethic is not a desirable approach to environmental questions, despite the fact that process thought has been co-opted by some environmentalist thinkers.


Clare Palmer defends a contextual, relational ethic according to which humans will typically have duties to assist only domestic, and not wild, animals in need.


Clare Palmer read for a BA in theology at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating in 1988, before reading for a doctorate in philosophy at the same university.


In 1992, having previously published book reviews, Clare Palmer published her first research publication, "Stewardship: A Case Study in Environmental Ethics", in the edited collection The Earth Beneath: A Critical Guide to Green Theology, published by SPCK.

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Clare Palmer was, along with Ian Ball, Margaret Goodall, and John Reader, a co-editor of the volume.


Clare Palmer graduated from Oxford in 1993 with a doctorate from The Queen's College; her thesis focussed on process philosophy and environmental ethics.


Clare Palmer worked as a research fellow in philosophy at the University of Glasgow from 1992 to 1993, before becoming a lecturer in environmental studies at the University of Greenwich.


Clare Palmer worked at Greenwich from 1993 until 1997, after which she spent a year as a research fellow at the University of Western Australia.


Clare Palmer was the founding editor, and she remained editor until 2007.


Clare Palmer returned to working in the UK in 1998, becoming a lecturer in religious studies at the University of Stirling.


Clare Palmer remained at Stirling for several years before taking up the post of senior lecturer in philosophy at Lancaster University in 2001.


Process ethics, Clare Palmer argues, is closer to individualist consequentialism than individualist deontological environmental ethics.


In considering collectivist environmental ethics, Clare Palmer asks how process thinkers could approach natural collectives, such as ecosystems.


Clare Palmer argues that Whitehead could view them as single entities with a good of their own, while Hartshorne could not.


Clare Palmer thus concludes that process philosophy does not provide a suitable basis for environmental ethics.


In contrast to more typical approaches to animal ethics which focus on the ethics of harming animals, Clare Palmer asks, in Animal Ethics in Context, about the ethics of aiding animals, with a focus on the distinction between wild and domestic animals.


Clare Palmer follows mainstream animal ethics approaches in arguing that humans have a prima facie duty not to harm any animal.


Clare Palmer begins by defending the claim that animals have moral standing, and then surveys three key approaches to animal ethics; utilitarian approaches, animal rights approaches, and capabilities approaches.


Clare Palmer identifies the laissez-faire intuition, which is the intuition that humans do not have an obligation to aid wild animals in need.


Clare Palmer defends the distinction between doing and allowing harm, and then defends the idea that humans have different positive obligations towards domestic animals and wild animals.


At the centre of Clare Palmer's approach is the fact that humans are causally responsible for the hardship faced by some animals, but not the hardship faced by others.


Clare Palmer then deploys this philosophy in a number of imagined cases in which humans have varying relations to particular animals in need.

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Clare Palmer closes the book by considering possible objections, including the idea that her approach would not require someone to save a drowning child at little cost to themselves.


Unless Clare Palmer is willing to deny that humans have obligations to help suffering distant humans, Faria argues, the account cannot justify not aiding animals.


Clare Palmer has served on the editorial boards of two Springer series and one Sydney University Press series: Animal Publics.


Clare Palmer has served on the editorial boards of various journals, including Environmental Humanities; Ethics, Policy and Environment; Environmental Ethics; Environmental Values; the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics; and the Journal for the Study of Religion, Culture and Nature.