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Environmental Ethics

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Samuel Quiroz

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of Environmental Ethics

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli WE WERE ALL BETTER INFORMED? WHAT IF? ANTHROPOCENTRISM WE HUMANS MATTER THE MOST. Will we see it again? Human Environmental Impact Deep ecology So, lets talk about Ecocentrism and lets not forget Eco femenism WEVE SEEN THIS BEFORE Environmental Ethics Perspective: Nature has intrinsic value Gaia, named after
the Greek Goddess listen to
Nature. Conservation, Restoration, and Protection.
C.P.R. Anthropocentrism: A perspective which holds that humans are the only beings with intrinsic value. Nature and natural beings have only instrumental value.
- The value of nature is measured by how it affects humans.
- Example: Global warming is an issue only because of the risk it imposes on mankind.
- Reductionism - Nature is reduced to "Thinghood".
- Western Psyche: individualism, consumerism
- The Principle of Business/ Survival of the Fittest

Rene Descartes: "I think therefore I am" and animals are machines. A human centered perspective. Anthropocentrism Cont. Linked to Psychological Egoism and Christianity Anthropocentrism is said to have its roots in Christianity.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

- Link to Psychological Egoism:
How will I benefit from my environment? -Ecofeminism- According to Barbara Mackinnon ecofeminism is part of a larger movement called Social ecology, which states we should look to particular social patterns and structures to discover what is wrong with our relationship to the environment.
-Ecofeminists believe the problem lies within a male centered view of nature, one of human domination over nature. Environmental Ethics An Overview - Anthropocentrism
- Ecocentrism
- Cost Benefit Analysis
- Human Environmental
- Ecofeminism
- Deep Ecology
- Sustainable Developement Cost-Benefit Analysis A Utilitarian form of reasoning The dominant world-view, often criticized for being the source of the world's environmental problems. -Value is a function of usefulness to humans.
- Involves two distinct elements:
1. Assessment: Determination or description of facts.
2. Evaluation: The establishment of relative values. -Opportunity Cost: The cost of forfeiting the next best alternative. (With limited resources spent on something, they cannot be spent on something else.) - Example of Cost-Benefit Analysis:
Should we stop the cutting down of trees?
Benefit: Preservation of forests
Cost: Loss of jobs, profits, and rise of lumber prices Ecocentrism - Individual Lifeforms Value stressed on Individual lifeforms - Growth
-Respond to stimuli
-Resist Death
-Internal Order How bad can I be? Integrity? - Moral Patients: Any being toward whom what we do to it matters in itself. (Giant Sequoia)

- Moral Agents: Beings that are responsible for moral patients.
(Humans!) Aldo Leopold: 1940 "The Land Ethic"
"A fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soil, plants, and animals". A thing is good it preserves the:
- Integrity (Integrated whole)
- Stability(gradual change)
- Beauty (Harmony)
of the biotic community. Value Stressed on Ecosystems - Integrated living Whole
- Struggle for survival/Adaptation
- Unity and diversity Prima Facie- at first sight/glance The number of cans recyceled every 30 secs =
the number of people that can fill the Gillett
stadium. - Preserve the wilderness
-Control human population
-Live simple, tread lightly on the planet Transcendentalism: A movement of romantic idealism, in which nature is regarded as a spiritual symbol. - ex: A rock symbolizes endurance Ralph Waldo Emerson: transcendentalist
Henry Thoreau: Idealism/Pantheism
John Muir: Founder of the Sierra Club Criticism of Ecocentrism?
Cruelty of nature (animals of prey)
Victims of hurricanes, earthquakes,
etc Biocentric Equality: All things of nature have equal
intrinsic worth. We are nature.
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