VIEWS: 26 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 9/14/2012
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS LECTURE NOTES VALUES Extrinsic Value - Some things are valuable because of the way in which they can be used or the benefits that they provide. Computers, sprocket wrenches, and dictionary would be examples. These things are said to have “instrumental” or “extrinsic” value. Intrinsic Value - Other things are valuable independently of any way that they can be used or any benefit that they provide. According to Thomas Jefferson, human beings would be an example. These things are said to have “inherent” or “intrinsic” value. Is generally defined as the inherent worth of something, independent of its value to anyone or anything else. Aesthetic values - Aesthetic values are a kind of extrinsic value, because aesthetic values provide humans with a service of sorts -- our own satisfaction. The concept of intrinsic value is highly philosophical. Many economists and some ethicists believe that intrinsic value does not exist, arguing that all values are human-centered, that a value cannot exist without an evaluator. EXAMPLE OF THE VALUE OF A TREE: Extrinsic Value: Build a house, paper, ways in which a tree can be used to benefit mankind Intrinsic Value: The inherent beauty of the tree is the value ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICAL THEORIES ANTHROPOCENTRIC: Anthropocentric Ethic claims that only human beings are morally considerable in their own right, meaning that all the direct moral obligations we possess, including those we have with regard to the environment, are owed to our fellow human beings. FRONTIER ETHIC: A frontier ethic assumes that the earth has an unlimited supply of resources. If resources run out in one area, more can be found elsewhere or alternatively human ingenuity will find substitutes. Biocentrism: Biocentrism or ecocentrism is the notion that life is the center of the universe and humans are a separate but equal part of nature With ecocentric ethics, we move from individualistic to holistic approaches to environmental ethics. Ecocentric asserts that our ethical duties are not to individuals but to the ecosystem as a whole. Whether a particular organism has value and, if so, its degree of value will depend on its role in the larger system. Deep Ecology: Deep ecology is perhaps best understood as biocentrism with a strong social emphasis. A form of environmentalism that advocates radical measures to protect the natural environment regardless of their effect on the welfare of people. It asserts, for example, that the lifestyle of persons in affluent nations must be dramatically changed and that the human population of the Earth should be greatly reduced. Deep ecologists are critical of globalization as well, arguing for the decentralization in the political and economic spheres and for increased respect for cultural diversity. Social Ecology: Social Ecology holds that present ecological problems are rooted in deep-seated social problems, particularly in dominate hierarchical political and social systems. It suggests that this cannot be resisted by individual action such as ethical consumerism but must be addressed by more nuanced ethical thinking and collective activity grounded in radical democratic ideals. The complexity of relationships between people and with nature is emphasized, along with the importance of establishing social structures that take account of this. It is argued that humans must recognize that they are part of nature, not distinct or separate from it. In turn then, human societies and human relations with nature can be informed by the non-hierarchical relations found within the natural world. For example, some philosophers point out that within an ecosystem, there is no species more important than another, instead relationships are mutualistic and interrelated. This interdependence and lack of hierarchy in nature, it is claimed, provides a blueprint for a non- hierarchical human society. Radical Ecology: Radical Ecology argues that a broader philosophical perspective is needed, requiring fundamental changes in both our attitude to and understanding of reality. This involves reexamining who we are as human beings and our place within the natural world. None of these radical ecologies confine themselves solely to the arena of ethics. Instead, radical ecologies also demand fundamental changes in society and its institutions. In other words, these ideologies have a distinctively political element, requiring us to confront the environmental crisis by changing the very way we live and function, both as a society and as individuals.
Pages to are hidden for
"ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS LECTURE NOTES"Please download to view full document