Moral philosophy aims to provide a rational critique or justification of the principles that guide or govern human conduct. In this inquiry, it is assumed that these principles are accessible to reason. Human activity, particularly when amplified by sophisticated science-based technologies, now extends far beyond the Stone Age boundaries, which constrained our actions for most of human history. It is these changes in human activities and values, which have prompted the questioning of whether constraints on human conduct should take into consideration more than purely human interests. In this paper, I will develop my own environmental politics that can be part of a useful movement in our era of globalization, while considering predominate anthropocentric views.
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 s...
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