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Environmental Values

On the Reconciliation of Anthropocentric and Nonanthropocentric Environmental Ethics

Brian K. Steverson

Environmental Values 5(1996): 349-361. doi: 10.3197/096327196776679230

I argue that James Sterba's recent attempt to show that, despite their foundational axiological differences regarding the relative value of humans and members of nonhuman species, anthropocentrists and nonanthropocentrists would accept the exact same principles of environmental justice fails. The failure to reconcile the two positions is a product of an underestimation of the divergence that occurs at the level of general principles and practical policy as a result of the initial value commitments which characterise each position. The upshot of this is that, contrary to those who argue that environmental ethicists ought to move beyond the traditional anthropocentric-nonanthropocentric debate, the foundational debate about interspecific egalitarianism will continue to issue in substantial debates about environmental policy formation.


KEYWORDS: Anthropocentrism, environmental justice, nonanthropocentrism, Sterba

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Reconciling Anthropocentric and Nonanthropocentric Environmental Ethics. James P. Sterba

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Reconciliation Reaffirmed: A Reply to Steverson. James P. Sterba

Beyond Human Racism. Robyn Eckersley

The Misbegotten Child of Deep Ecology.Stephen Avery



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