Facts About Natural Values

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Abstract:

Some environmental philosophers believe that the rejection of anthropocentric ethics requires the development and defence of an objectivist meta-ethical theory according to which values are, in the most literal sense, discovered not conferred. It is argued that nothing of normative or motivational import, however, turns on the meta-ethical issue. It is also argued that a rejection of normative anthropocentrism is completely consistent with meta-ethical subjectivism. Moreover the dynamics and outcomes of rational debate about normative environmental ethics are not determined by any particular choice between meta-ethical subjectivism and objectivism. These different meta-ethical views sustain analogous moves in normative debate, although they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these moves. They also provide for analogous links between moral 'belief' and motivation, although again they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these links. In the course of defending these conclusions a subjectivist account of intrinsic value is developed and defended.

Keywords: anthropocentrism; environmental ethics; meta-ethics; value theory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327196776679285

Publication date: August 1, 1996

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2013) of 1.739.
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