Anthropocentrism versus Ecocentrism Revisited: Theoretical Confusions and Practical Conclusions
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2013
Pages: 21 - 37
Source ID: shanti-sources-79626
Collection: Anthropocene and the Environmental Future
Abstract: One of the hardest questions in environmental philosophy is the debate between anthropocentric and ecocentric accounts of value. I argue that a great deal of the disagreement in this debate arises from a) misunderstanding of the concepts used in the debate and b) unfruitful reading of vaguely framed arguments. The conceptual and argumentative analysis of the debate shows that many arguments can be ignored as they either contain conceptual confusion or concern issues that are actually irrelevant to the centrism division. However, there are arguments that maintain their relevance, and these arguments have important consequences on the practical environmental ethics. Hence, contrary to Bryan G. Norton’s optimism about the “centrism convergence” on the level of practical environmentalism, I contend that disagreements prevail even in practice. As a solution, I suggest that the centrism debaters should focus on the practical level and work to find space for agreement.