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THE HUMAN PERSON IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

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by

Erzl Jean Baiquin

on 8 August 2016

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Transcript of THE HUMAN PERSON IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

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The problems about the environment have been too obvious to ignore by scholars and philosophers. As early as 1949, Aldo Leopold, who was an American conservationist and forester by profession, published an article entitled
A Sand Country Almanac (1949),
which emphasized the importance of the adoption of a
land ethic
giving importance to land as an entiry that should be given due respect and love.
Unfortunately, Leopold;s exposition of a land ethic lacks the theoretical rigor of a coherent Philosophical framework, hence giving an opportunity for theoreticians and environmental philosophers to put forward their seminal ideas in the early 70's that led to the emergence of environmental philosophy and its ethics.
BRYAN NORTON
In his article entitled,
Environmental Problems and Future Generations,
sees the analysis of environmental problems as belonging to 3 generations: the first generation of environmental dealt wisely using our resources together with the protection of natural monuments or protected areas; whereas, the second generation of problems dealt with the destruction of natural environments and pollution.
THE EMERGENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
In the early 70's environmental ethics as a new sub-discipline under environmental philosophy emerged. According to the
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
"Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and it's non-human contents".
Among these candidates are:
human
,
non-humans
, including
higher forms of animals
, all l
iving organims
to include plants, and holistic entities or communities like
ecosystems.

Distinction Between Intrinsic and Instrumental Value
Something is claimed to have
intrinsic value
if it has inherent worth in itself, meaning to say it is worth pursuing as an end-in-itself because it is valuable or good for its own sake.
Different and contrasting views from various philosophers and ethistics have given importance or attached a moral value from a wide range of candidates.
Their main concern is to justify why their chosen candidate should be given moral understanding or should be attributed moral consideration in the field of environmental ethics.
ATTRIBUTION OF MORAL CONSIDERATION AND THEIR CORRESPONDING APPROACHES
INTRINSIC
VALUE

THE HUMAN PERSON IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT
On the other hand, the
instrumental value
if it is considered as a means toward achieving a certain end, thus it is worth depends on whether it was succesful in bringing about the particular purpose or end that is supposed to serve.
This
criterion of moral consideration
or standing has been the center of debates in environmental ethics. This could be summarized in the
diagram emphasizing different levels of attribution of moral consideration.
HUMANS: ANTHROPOCENTRISM
Traditional anthropocentric views would consider human beings as the center of moral consideration. This could be traced from the Judeo-Christian tradition where human beings were given "dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26-39)
Man's superiority could also be traced back to Plato and Aristotle when they gave importance to the unique capacity of a man as a rational being. Protagoras, one of the sophist, also claimed that man is the measure of all things. This rationality is the key to being moral, thus, the recognition that only human beings are moral due to his special ability towards self-consciousness and deliberation.
Barbara Mckinnon
Author of a book entititled
Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues (1995)
Claims that a human centered anthropocentr ic perspective would have to support broad environmentalism for it to be viable
, "Our own good requires that we have due and wise regard for animals and the environment. Moreover, this good need not to defined narrowly in terms of the satisfaction of individual human interest of a limited source. Aesthetic and Health interest may be included."
ENLIGHTENED OR PRUDENTIAL ANTHROPOCENTRISM
It recognizs duties towards the environment are taken or emenate from our duties to its human inhabitants.
Prudential anthropocentrism could pave the way for more environmentally conscientious protection and preservation of the environment of the environment, coinciding with the virtues of prudence, altruism, and responsibility towards the environment.
NON-HUMANS (Higher Forms of Animals)
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