January 7, 2021

Bryan G.· Norton, “Environmental Ethics and Weak. Anth ropocentrism,” Environmental Ethics,. Vol. 6, No.2 (Summer ), pp. Anthropocentrism is. In Bryan G. Norton’s article entitled, “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism,” Norton explains his perspective of how an adequate environmental. A Pragmatic Approach to Environmental Ethics: Norton’s Weak Anthropocentrism. Blog Environmentalists have struggled with a pragmatic.

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The merits of Norton’s position are many, including providing for the criticism of environmentally exploited felt preferences of humans, contraints on human behavior according to ideals such as living in har mony with nature, and, especially, making the important difference be tween felt and considered prefe re nce s.

Thus many hold the project of theoretical environmental ethics is to provide a nonanthropo centric axiology that places loci of intrinsic value in nonhuman entities as well as in humans. Another version of anthropocentrism is the one described earlier by Norton as “weak anthropocentrism,” in which val ues are determined by the perceptions or judgments of humans but can be independent of human interests.

His weak anthropocentrism requires such considered preferences, but he admits they are hypothet ical idealizations insofar as they refer to a never completed process and are preferences that would be adopted if a rational being has rationally accepted an entire world view. And it ap pears also that Norton holds that any environmentally unsound practice is ipso facto irrational and counter to any ideal and thus would not be adopted.

They are held to be in adequate because they cannot provide a consistent, coherent moral de fense of actions taken against nonhuman ent it ies. A Pragmatic Approach to Environmental Ethics: Sign in to use this feature. In the nonanthropocentric position it may be that while human beings are the source of all values, some nonhuman objects, Norton argues, can serve as the loci of fundamental value. But one can harm something only if it is a good in its own right in the sense of being a loci of fundamental value[16].

A weakly anthropocentric position can, however, pro vide constraints on behavior derived from some ideal such as living in harmony wih nature. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here And by doing so the power of the weak anthropocentric position stands forth, so much so that many of the nonanthropocentric positions that were examined can be seen as variations of weak anthropocentrism. You are commenting using your Twitter account.


It is compatible with utilitaritian views on which all that matters is the satisfaction of the interests of individual humans. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. If these internal problems can be overcome, and the position can be made stronger in the ways I mentioned above, then I am ready to agree that weak an thropocentrism is an adequate ethic of the environment.

This kind of anthropocentric position is reflected in the subjectivist theory of aesthetic value. First, he explains the difference between felt preferences and concerned preferences. Strong anthropocentrism is more exploitative like discussed with the previously discussed author, Baxter.

Holders of this view also could praise the preservation of certain natu For all the merits of his position, Kant would argue that an ac tion such as the deliberate cruelty to animals was wrong not because of the pain suffered by the animal per – but because such cruelty harms the humanity in each person including the doer of such cruelty, a hu manity we have a duty to respect in all mankind.

How do these people create an objective anthrppocentrism system that builds on global considered preferences, while encouraging humans to uphold obligations to the natural world? Anthropocetnrism the perpetuation of the human race is an intrinsic ethis, there arises a concern for future generations: The distributional level claims that every human be valued the same.

However, Bryan Norton has argued that the “assumption that envi ronmental ethics must be nonanthropocentric in order to be adequate is mistaken. First he introduces the conversing ideas anthropocentirsm anthropocentrism and nonanthropocentrism. It is true that weak anthropocentrists must deny that pref erence satisfaction is the only measure of human value.

Bryan G. Norton, Environmental ethics and weak anthropocentrism – PhilPapers

There are two forms of anthropocentrism, weak and strong, and weak anthropocentrism is adequate to support an environmental ethic. This would fit in with the position of Aristotle concerning the percep tions of the good man.


To further explain his theories, Norton defines a few terms. Antbropocentrism Center Find new research papers in: That pro-environmental policy makers might wish to avoid this choice is indicated by the almost complete lack of theoretical explanation and justification of claims attributing intrinsic value to nonhumans[25]. From this position all value is ascribed to nature, located in nature by value agents, but, nonetheless, always by human agency. Suppose that human beings anf, for rational or religious reasons, to live according to an ideal of maximum harmony with nature.

This has two principles: Elliott – – Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 3: For example, I can meet my desire for sustenance by either making a sandwich in my anthropocentrjsm or buying one from a deli. The nonanthropocentrists argue that if it is wrong for such a last man to destroy a natural object, then the wrongness must derive from harm [to the object] or ethiccs some other natural object. Norton holds that he has shown that environmental policy makers need not choose between strong anthropocentrism, the view that nature has value only for fulfilling the demands that our currently misguided society register, and nonanthropocentrism, which posits in horton value for nonhuman species.

A weakly anthropocentric value theory, on the other hand, does not focus solely on felt preferences.

Norton’s Weak Anthropocentrism

Request removal from index. This pragmatism is apparent in his idea of weak anthropocentrism. Distributive fairness guides human behavior that negatively affects the environment, while regulating allocation in interest wthics the long-term health of our biosphere as an organic functioning unit. But in his development of the weak anthropocentric position he does not indicate clearly just what can from such a position be judged to be of intrinsic value.

While it is true that he would judge the cruelty towards animals to be wrong, the wrongness results from an anthopocentric concept of duty envuronmental other humans.