Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Anthropocentrism

Category Philosophy
Essay type Research
Words 350 (1 page)
Views 175

Anthropocentrism is the position that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet, or the assessment of reality through an exclusively human perspective. The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism, while the first concept can also be referred to as human supremacy. Anthropocentrism is a major concept in the field of environmental ethics and environmental philosophy, where it is often considered to be the root cause of problems created by human interaction with the environment; however, it is profoundly embedded in many modern human cultures and conscious acts.

Anthropocentrism, also known as homocentricism, has been posited by some environmentalists, in such books as Confessions of an Eco-Warrior by Dave Foreman and Green Rage by Christopher Manes, as the underlying (if unstated) reason why humanity dominates and sees the need to "develop" most of the Earth. Anthropocentrism is believed by some to be the central problematic concept in environmental philosophy, where it is used to draw attention to a systematic bias in traditional Western attitudes to the non-human world. 3] Val Plumwood has argued[4][5] that anthropocentrism plays an analogous role in green theory to androcentrism in feminist theory and ethnocentrism in anti-racist theory. Plumwood calls human-centredness "anthrocentrism" to emphasise this parallel. One of the first extended philosophical essays addressing environmental ethics, John Passmore's Man's Responsibility for Nature has been criticised by defenders of deep ecology because of its anthropocentrism, often claimed to be constitutive of traditional Western moral thought.

Defenders of anthropocentrist views point out that maintenance of a healthy, sustainable environment is necessary for human well-being as opposed for its own sake. The problem with a "shallow" viewpoint is not that it is human-centred but that according to William Grey: "What's wrong with shallow views is not their concern about the well-being of humans, but that they do not really consider enough in what that well-being consists.

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According to this view, we need to develop an enriched, fortified anthropocentric notion of human interest to replace the dominant short-term, sectional and self-regarding conception. "In turn, Plumwood in Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason comprehensively debunked Grey's anthropocentrism as inadequate.

Anthropocentrism essay

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