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Human Development - Friend or Foe to Environmental Ethics?

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This article is premised on the assumption that in order for us adequately to protect our environment, significant adjustments need to be made to the ways we pursue and think about development - adjustments not merely to technologies but also to life-styles. In this respect the emphasis in much recent development literature on human development is to be welcomed as a useful corrective to definitions of development in terms of economic growth, though there is still a danger of anthropocentric assumptions. It is argued that, given suitable interpretations or conceptions of development and environment, environmental care can be, and should be, integrated into authentic human development. Proposals for such conceptual alignment stem both from seeing the relevant community in which development qua desirable change is to take place as the biotic community, and from seeing development as desirable change in the total environment, both natural and artificial, regarded as a social field of significance. Such conceptual adjustments are a significant part, but of course only a part, of what needs to be done to bring public policy more into line with proper care for the environment.

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Keywords: community; development; environment; evaluation; field of significance; growth; human; rationality; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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 a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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