Full Text


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E thics An approach to environmental ethics , proposing that its central concern should be the ecological system or biotic community and its subsystems, rather than the individual members it contains. Ecocentrism is based on the claim that ecology has revealed human beings and the rest of nature to be related both diachronically (through time) and synchronically (at one time) and to be part of the web of life. Proponents argue that we should therefore consider the whole ecosystem rather than its individual members in isolation from the matrix in which the individuals are embedded. Unlike the major modern moral traditions, which focus on the interests or rights of the individual, ecocentrism is a holistic, or even totalitarian, approach. It judges the moral worth of human behavior in terms of its impact on the environment. Hence, while other approaches try to extend traditional Western moral norms to issues concerning animals and the environment, ecocentrism attempts to establish a new ethical paradigm. Land ethics and deep ecology are the most important representative forms of this trend. A fundamental problem facing ecocentrists is how to provide an appropriate place for human individuals within their account of the welfare of the environment. “Those philosophers, among whom I count myself, have been called ‘ecocentrists’ since we have advocated a shift in the locus of intrinsic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top