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Levi Tenen
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I am Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Liberal Arts at Kettering University in Flint, MI.  My research lies at the intersection of Ethics (esp. Value Theory), Environmental Ethics, and Political Philosophy, with dovetailing interests in Environmental Law & Policy and Aesthetics. 

 

I explore how public goods and the environment ought to be managed in light of different values, competing interests among the public, and considerations of justice.  Some of my work focuses on public land laws (e.g. the Antiquities Act and The Wilderness Act.), with particular attention to how such laws ought to be interpreted or revised in order to protect their target values and respond to the history of colonialism.  In other work, I explore competing claims of justice underlying urban planning decisions, as well as the values mentioned in the Endangered Species Act.  Building on these interests, I am now developing a larger project, Public Lands: A Philosophical Guide, that offers an opinionated guide to debates about public lands, including privatization proposals, the indigenous #LandBack movement, and the tension between different kinds of recreation.

Informing my applied work are my interests in foundational Value Theory.  I use a fitting-attitude analysis to analyze how values differ from one another and call for different policies.  Recently in Journal of Ethics, I used this approach to identify how intrinsic and instrumental values differ from one another.  This provides a foundation for earlier publications in which I provide an account of how something can be valuable for its own sake without having an intrinsic property that makes it so [1] [2].  I am now using the fitting-attitude approach to explore constitutive, instrumental, "existence," and final value, all of which figure prominently in discussions of environmental goods. 

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