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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Facts About Natural Values

Robert Elliot

Environmental Values 5(1996): 221-234. doi: 10.3197/096327196776679285

Some environmental philosophers believe that the rejection of anthropocentric ethics requires the development and defence of an objectivist meta-ethical theory according to which values are, in the most literal sense, discovered not conferred. It is argued that nothing of normative or motivational import, however, turns on the meta-ethical issue. It is also argued that a rejection of normative anthropocentrism is completely consistent with meta-ethical subjectivism. Moreover the dynamics and outcomes of rational debate about normative environmental ethics are not determined by any particular choice between meta-ethical subjectivism and objectivism. These different meta-ethical views sustain analogous moves in normative debate, although they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these moves. They also provide for analogous links between moral 'belief' and motivation, although again they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these links. In the course of defending these conclusions a subjectivist account of intrinsic value is developed and defended.


KEYWORDS: Anthropocentrism, environmental ethics, meta-ethics, value-theory



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