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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Environmental Values, Anthropocentrism and Speciesism

Onora O'Neill

Environmental Values 6(1997): 127-142. doi: 10.3197/096327197776679121

Ethical reasoning of all types is anthropocentric, in that it is addressed to agents, but anthropocentric starting points vary in the preference they accord the human species. Realist claims about environmental values, utilitarian reasoning and rights-based reasoning all have difficulties in according ethical concern to certain all aspects of natural world. Obligation-based reasoning can provide quite strong if incomplete reasons to protect the natural world, including individual non-human animals. Although it cannot establish all the conclusions to which anti-speciesists aspire, it may establish many of them with some clarity.

KEYWORDS: Anthropocentrism, obligations, rights, speciesism

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Human Rights in an Ecological Era. William Aiken

Anthropocentrism: A Misunderstood Problem. Tim Hayward

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Environmental Ethics - Values or Obligations? A Reply to O'Neill. Brian Baxter

What Silence Knows - Planning, Public Participation and Environmental Values Anna Davies

A Constrained-Utility Alternative to Animal Rights Joshua Frank

Confucian Role-Based Ethics and Strong Environmental Ethics. Anh Tuan Nuyen

At the Centre of What? A Critical Note on the Centrism-Terminology in Environmental Ethics. Lars Samuelsson

Clowning Around with Conservation: Adaptation, Reparation and the New Substitution Problem. Benjamin Hale, Alexander Lee and Adam Hermans

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