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Some branches of environmental thought have challenged anthropocentric parochialism-anthropocentrism or human chauvinism. They reflect the standpoint that just as we have abandoned our geocentric cosmology, our anthropocentric biology, and related conceits; it follows that we should give up our anthropocentric morality. Indeed, they exemplify the need for a search of credible non-anthropocentric approaches towards nature, which has been one of the central issues of environmental philosophy thus far. With this in mind, anthropocentrism is the focal issue of this paper. The challenge that I am raising is to find both an appropriate scale for concern towards our fellow citizens and human needs, with an appropriate level of awareness and conduct that extends to the natural environment beyond the human realm.
My aim however, is not to bury anthropocentrism, but to defend aspects of it and explain why such an approach is often needed. My claim is that if we step too far outside the scale of human interests, people will lose respect for furthering human accomplishments and development, and these socially constructed human accomplishments will be rendered meaningless and stop. Based on these insights, I have sought to re-examine and consider age-old debates concerning the appropriate means for creating and distributing wealth in ways that are thoughtful both towards furthering human interests, while maintaining a healthy, sustainable and diverse environment.
Firstly, I will begin with Deep Ecology, which is a phrase first coined in 1972 by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. Its primary position is that nature has an intrinsic value. Namely, value apart from its usefulness to human beings, and that all life forms should be allowed to flourish and fulfill their evolutionary destinies. However, I believe Deep Ecology overemphasizes protection of the environment, which conflicts with the success of human interests and wealth and this conflict is part of a larger issue relating to how we as humans view nature. Thereby, minimizing the roles played by the social, political, and economic factors inherent in global capitalism, because it takes such a protectionist approach. I will also maintain that deep ecology is incapable of providing guidance in moral decision-making because it is, or threatens to be, promoting actions that are not realistic for having a successful economy, putting money in people's pockets and most importantly, feeding billions of people. Therefore, although such environmental awareness is important, it is too extreme an approach is not what is needed during our era of globalization.
Ecofeminism "is a theory and a movement based on the understanding that there are structural problems with the current system: social and economic inequities simply cannot be resolved within the system, because the system's functioning depends on the devaluation, oppression, and exclusion of the majority of the
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- Oppenheimer said on that New Mexico afternoon testing of the A-bomb, "we have become as gods." ...
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Ecofeminism, Arne Naess, Oppenheimer,
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Africa, New Mexico,
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