Bryan G.· Norton, “Environmental Ethics and Weak. Anth ropocentrism,” Environmental Ethics,. Vol. 6, No.2 (Summer ), pp. Anthropocentrism is. In Bryan G. Norton’s article entitled, “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism,” Norton explains his perspective of how an adequate environmental. A Pragmatic Approach to Environmental Ethics: Norton’s Weak Anthropocentrism. Blog Environmentalists have struggled with a pragmatic.

Author: Tuzshura Zolozuru
Country: Austria
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Education
Published (Last): 18 June 2009
Pages: 376
PDF File Size: 14.72 Mb
ePub File Size: 17.43 Mb
ISBN: 940-8-95027-398-6
Downloads: 18163
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Taran

Science Logic and Mathematics. Notice the implicit anthropocentrism here as he classifies things as notron tributory to an intrinsically valued experience, the good life.

A strongly anthropocentric view cannot provide for limitations on be haviors based on anything other than that of the satisfaction of human felt preferences. While the pursuit of selfish, environmentql, consumptive desires may lead to the destruction of nature, a far-sighted individual with scientific knowledge, rationally defensible moral ideals, and a set of preferences consistent with such a world view would protect nature for human reasons[24].

By such valuing of certain hu man experiences or states this etgics would allow for the censure or praise of actions done by humans toward the environment, in light of whether the actions hindered or aided in the realization of these ex periences. Mcshane Katie – – Environmental Values 16 May: An adequate environmental ethic 1 may be anthropocentric and 2 must be nonindividualistic.

Why Should We Care? Anthropocentric Indirect Arguments for Environmental Protection. Norton argues that the.

Bryan G. Norton, Environmental ethics and weak anthropocentrism – PhilPapers

But one can harm something only if it is a good in its own right in the sense of being a locus of fundamental value[G]. Environmental environmentao involves decisions on two levels, one kind of which differs from usual decisions affecting individual fairness while the other does not.

It seems clear to many writers that actions such as the extinction of various species are wrong, that some kind of respect or consideration by humans to other species is due to them separate from their utility, and that ecological and environmental insights should be taken into account when the mor ality of certain actions is considered, and they then further argue that the inadequacy of the traditional axiologies in dealing with environmen tal issues results from them being based upon anthropocentric concepts of intrinsic value.


A common argument offered against the standard anthropocentric position is the “last people” argument mentioned earlier.

Norton’s Weak Anthropocentrism | existjg

Find it on Scholar. It seems that Xnthropocentrism holds a world view to be “rational” in that it would be held by any or all persons once subjective, felt preferences are set asid e. In Skolimowski’s view any environmental ethic cannot help but to be anthropocentric, even in the axiologies of intrinsic value.

A considered preference, on ethucs other hand, is based on an idealization humans can have about how the world is or ought to be and represents an ongoing activity by rational beings to critique felt preferences against a world view of some kind. The history of environmental ethics reflects this ex pansion as features such as the experience of pleasure or happiness, sentience, and environmengal act of flourishing were judged to be of intrinsic val ue.

He concludes that weak anthropocentrism can meet the adequacy criterion. Holders of this view also could praise the preservation of certain natu This pragmatism is apparent in his idea of weak anthropocentrism. What makes for a distinctively environmental ethic is not whether or not it has environmentsl anthropocentric value theory but that it be a non individualistic theory. In this way the weak anthropocentric position may hold that some things over and above human states and experiences may have an intrinsic value.

Norton’s Weak Anthropocentrism

There would be no moral wrong done because the normal Western tradi tions only place intrinsic value in and grant moral considerability to persons, their experiences, and their preferences.

One can “rationally” calculate one ‘s best in terest, as well as seak some “rationally” held world vie w. He illustrates what he sees as the inadequacy of the standard anthropocentric axiologies with a thought experiment concern ing the moral behavior of the last people.

Weak anthropocentrism is still anthropocentrism, just more environmentally friendly.

In this way, Norton hopes that over-consumptive felt preferences might be overruled by considered preferences. Anthropocentrists are therefore taken to believe that every instance of value originates in a contribution to human values and that all elements of nature can, at most, have value instrumental to the satisfaction of human inter ests[15]. For Norton, such an adequate envi ronmental ethic will include “the statement of some set of principles from which rules can be derived proscribing the behaviors included in the set which virtually anturopocentrism environmentally sensitive individuals agree are environmentally destructive.


The assumption that environmental ethics must be nonanthropocentric in order to be adequate is mistaken.

If this meaning is ac cepted, then it is possible for the weak anthropocentrist to attribute intrinsic value to nature as well as instrumental value.

But nothing environmental follows from 2; it is compatible with anthropocejtrism the weao into a giant city. The goal is to create what Tom Regan[3] has called “an ethic of the environment” rather than “an ethic for the envi ronment”, the latter being an ethic for anthropocentdism management of the environ ment for better instrumental, utilitarian concerns of humans. This meaning does not equate all value with human needs or interests, but still has humans that are doing the valuing.

This site uses cookies. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Wolves are an iconic animal and considered sacred to some people. Hume’s Knave and Nonanthropocentric Virtues.

Eric Katz – – Environmental Ethics 21 4: You are commenting using your Facebook account. The weak anthropo centric position can, among etics things, provide a reply to the “last person” scenario mentioned earlier, something the strongly anthropocen tric position cannot do. But it should be noted that by the same rea soning the same act of adn mining the area could be commended in that the act was contributory to the realization of happiness to the stockholders of the mining company due to the financial profit made from the mining.

Felt preferences refer to desires or needs satisfied by immediate experience. Value theories previously labeled only “an- th ropocentric” can now be classified as either strongly or weakly an thropocentric in light of their position on felt and considered prefer- ences.

A value theory is strongly anthropocentric if all value countenanced by it is explained by reference to satisfac tions of felt preferences of human individuals [19]. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: In this way an independent jus tification for the preservation of natural entities can be offered in addi tion to weak anthropocentric based justifications.