Dissertation > Political, legal > Legal > Chinese law > Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act > Environmental Protection Act

On the Rationality of Environmental Law

Author SongChunYan
Tutor QinPeng
School Chongqing University
Course Environment and Resources Protection Law
Keywords Rationality Rationality of law Instrumental rationality Public rationality Harmonious rationality
CLC D922.68
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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After years of development, China’s environmental legislation has begun to takesystem and scale. But the environmental and resource problems have not beeneffectively curbed. Environmental issues are still outstanding, and the ecological crisisbecomes globalized. The environmental legislation become powerless on curbing theecological crisis to alleviate the contradiction between human beings and the nature. Ona deeper level, that’s because the environmental legislation is lack of a right guidingrationality.The rationality of law is the premise for legal persons to understand themselveswell. This article starts from the interpretation the rationality, then analyses the closerelationship between the law and the rationality, and then take a comprehensive reviewand assessment on the environmental law’s rationality. Rationality originally belongs tothe category of philosophy, the flourished philosophy of ancient Greece makes themeanings of rationality deepen. The concept of rationality has multiple meanings. Thelaw cannot exist independently without rationality, as it is the relationship between theworld’s fundamental rationality and various exists. The rationality is the supportingspirit of law, when the law is a discourse expression of rationality.The rationality of people is developing and changing as the development of thesociety. As in the beginning of industrial development, human’s rationality is thepursuit of their maximum desire to achieve, as well as to explore and conquer the nature.The Enlightenment and the development of science and technology, gave birth to theinstrumental rationality. Human beings took Human center doctrine as their sense ofworth, and misunderstood that they were the dominator and leader of the nature. Thiskind of environmental law was taken as man’s tool. Human beings took hands to protectthe environment and resource just for their own interest. They didn’t consider about thenature and a harmonious relationship between themselves and the nature.With the conflict between human and nature emerged constantly, people begin tohave a self-examination about their own activities and seek new rationality. Publicrationality as the environmental law’s rationality, can promote the human environmentalrights and environmental public participation in legislation. But the public rationalityhas been to blame if it was used in environmental practice. There are many problems to practice the public rationality, which make public rationality like Utopia. TheHarmonious Rationality is proposed after a cautious introspection of the traditionalinstrumental rationality, value rationality and public rationality. The harmoniousrationality has a strong tradition of environmental ethics and modern civilization as thetheory support. It agrees with lots of ancient environmental ethics,as well as values ofmodern politics, economics and science and technology. It takes the harmony betweenhuman beings, the harmony between man and the society, the harmony between manand himself as its value dimensions. Also, the harmonious rationality totally agrees withthe idea of building a harmonious society.

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