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Towards a Multidimensional, Environmentalist Ethic

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Abstract:

There has been a process of moral extensionism within environmental ethics from anthropocentrism, through zoocentrism, to ecocentrism. This article maps key elements of that process, and concludes that each of these ethical positions fails as a fully adequate, environmentalist ethic, and does so because of an implicit assumption that is common within normative theory. This notwithstanding, each position may well contribute a value. The problem that then arises is how to trade off those values against each other when they conflict. The solution here proposed is to employ multidimensional isovalue-contours along with a multidimensional practicability-frontier. This would result in a rich, value-pluralist environmentalist ethic that enjoined different outcomes to those enjoined by purely anthropocentric, zoocentric or ecocentric ethics.

Keywords: Repugnant Conclusion; anthropocentrism; ecocentrism; value pluralism; zoocentrism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327111X13077055166027

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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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