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ecocentrism


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

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

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