"Anthropocentrism vs. Nonanthropocentrism: Why Should We Care?"

McShane, Katie | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Values (journal)

McShane, Katie. “Anthropocentrism vs. Nonanthropocentrism: Why Should We Care?.” Environmental Values 16, no. 2 (2007): 169–86. doi:10.3197/096327107780474555.

Many recent critical discussions of anthropocentrism have focused on Bryan Norton’s “convergence hypothesis”: the claim that both anthropocentric and nonanthropocentric ethics will recommend the same environmentally responsible behaviours and policies. I argue that even if we grant the truth of Norton’s convergence hypothesis, there are still good reasons to worry about anthropocentric ethics. Ethics legitimately raises questions about how to feel, not just about which actions to take or which policies to adopt. From the point of view of norms for feeling, anthropocentrism has very different practical implications from nonanthropocentrism; it undermines some of the common attitudes—love, respect, awe—that people think it appropriate to take toward the natural world.
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