‘Can philosophical ethics still offer a way out of the ecological crisis?’ – the German philosopher P. Kampits asked himself in 1978. Until today environmental ethics, in its various forms (ecological, utilitarian, Rawlsian, the ethics of rights), has demonstrated, with mixed results, how and why humanity’s relationship with the environment may reasonably be held to be also a moral problem, a problem that implies the redefinition or extension of the concepts of duty and responsibility, and an alteration in the very image that humanity has of itself and of its relationship with nature. While effective in dismantling the barrier of indifference that humankind has placed between itself and nature until now, and breaking through the limitations of a claustrophobic anthropocentric attitude deaf to the problems of environmental integrity, environmental ethics remains impotent in the sphere of establishing adequate criteria by which to choose the priorities for concrete issues. 1 Indeed, if the ethical perspective does not succeed in affecting the foundations of scientific economic thinking, not much can be expected of it. It is not hard to see why. For good or ill, for at least a couple of centuries, it has been economic thought – with its dual function of representing reality and providing models of intervention to change that reality – that has directed the choices of the various economic actors, and guided decision-making in politics.