The traditional, post-enlightenment Western anthropocentric worldview has failed to halt this and is almost certainly responsible for it. Changing our worldview to ecocentrism however offers hope for solving the environmental crisis. What is ecocentrism? Ecocentrism finds inherent intrinsic value in all of nature. It takes a much wider view of the world than does anthropocentrism, which sees individual humans and the human species as more valuable than all other organisms.
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The traditional, post-enlightenment Western anthropocentric worldview has failed to halt this and is almost certainly responsible for it. Changing our worldview to ecocentrism however offers hope for solving the environmental crisis. What is ecocentrism?
Ecocentrism finds inherent intrinsic value in all of nature. It takes a much wider view of the world than does anthropocentrism, which sees individual humans and the human species as more valuable than all other organisms.
Ecocentrism is the broadest of worldviews, but there are related worldviews. Ecocentrism goes beyond biocentrism ethics that sees inherent value to all living things by including environmental systems as wholes, and their abiotic aspects.
It also goes beyond zoocentrism seeing value in animals on account of explicitly including flora and the ecological contexts for organisms. Ecocentrism is thus the umbrella that includes biocentrism and zoocentrism, because all three of these worldviews value the nonhuman, with ecocentrism having the widest vision. Historical roots of ecocentrism Ecocentrism as a worldview has been with humanity since we evolved. This value is independent of any instrumental usefulness for limited human purposes.
In terms of ecocentrism helping to solve the environmental crisis, ecologist John Stanley Rowe has argued: It seems to me that the only promising universal belief-system is ecocentrism, defined as a value-shift from Homo sapiens to planet earth. A scientific rationale backs the value-shift. All organisms are evolved from Earth, sustained by Earth. Thus Earth, not organism, is the metaphor for Life.
Earth not humanity is the Life-center, the creativity-center. Earth is the whole of which we are subservient parts. Such a fundamental philosophy gives ecological awareness and sensitivity an enfolding, material focus. Acknowledgment of intrinsic value internationally The intrinsic value of nature has had a mixed history in terms of international recognition. In contrast, the World Charter for Nature in was underpinned by strong ecocentric principles, stipulating that humanity and culture are part of nature.
However, the Tokyo Declaration that accompanied this was anthropocentric, as was the later Rio Declaration in The Johannesburg Declaration in however did not endorse the Earth Charter. However, in , Ecuador enshrined Rights for Nature as a part of its new Constitution. In contrast, the UN Sustainable Development Goals passed in failed to mention ecocentrism, the intrinsic value of nature, or acknowledge the rights of nature.
It highlights the need for academics to speak out in support of ecocentrism. Intrinsic value free from human valuation We maintain that nature, and life on Earth is inherently good. That is to say nature has intrinsic value, irrespective of whether humans are the ones valuing it. However, we can also understand that life has co-evolved to form the wondrous complexity of the web of life — and contend nature has value, whether humans perceive this or not.
The theory of autonomous intrinsic value of nature frees humanity from its anthropocentric obsession that it is all about our valuing. It states clearly that nature has intrinsic value, whether or not humans perceive and acknowledge this. Is ecocentrism anti-human? We reject this contention. Ecocentrists overwhelmingly support inter-human social justice, however they also support inter-species justice, or ecojustice, for the nonhuman world.
Just as environmental systems involve many interrelationships, we think environmental and social systems are entwined, and so social and ecojustice concerns are and must be as well. Anthropocentrism strong in academia Anthropocentrism is the prevalent ideology in most societies around the world, and also permeates academia and domestic and international governance.
Anthropocentrism continues to be dominant, even in venues where ecological sustainability is a stated goal. We contend, however, that a fully sustainable future is highly unlikely without an ecocentric value shift that recognizes the intrinsic value of nature and a corresponding Earth jurisprudence.
Hence the need for academics to speak out in support of ecocentrism. Its importance is for multiple reasons: In ethical terms: ecocentrism expands the moral community and ethics from being just about ourselves. It means we are not concerned only with humanity; we extend respect and care to all life, and indeed to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems themselves. In evolutionary terms: ecocentrism reflects the fact Homo sapiens evolved out of the rich web of life on Earth — a legacy stretching back an almost unimaginable 3.
Other species literally are our cousins and relatives close and distant , recognition of a biological kinship that many have recognized confers moral responsibilities toward all species. In spiritual terms: Many people and some societies have developed ecocentric moral sentiments. There is increasing evidence that ecocentric values are being fused into nature-based, ecocentric spiritualities, many of which are innovative and new.
In ecological terms: ecocentrism reminds us that all life is interdependent and that both humans and nonhumans are absolutely dependent on the ecosystem processes that nature provides. An anthropocentric conservation ethic alone is wholly inadequate for conserving biodiversity. This logically leads both to empathy for our fellow inhabitants; and also to humility, because in this process we are no different from other species. Western scientific thought corroborates an ecocentric worldview through an understanding of eco-evolutionary processes, hence the science of ecocentricity corresponds closely to belief systems of those indigenous peoples and others who have in various ways come to see themselves as part of a sacred world.
We conclude that an ecocentric worldview follows naturally from our evolution-derived, empathetic and aesthetic capacities, which when combined with our rational abilities, have enabled us over time to increasingly understand the way we and the rest of the living world came to be.
And this has enabled us to see that indeed, we are part of nature, embedded in a beautiful and wondrous living world. Surely, if anything is worthy of respect, even reverence, it is life itself on our own home planet.
We maintain that a transformation toward an ecocentric worldview, and corresponding value systems, is a necessary path toward the flourishing of life on Earth, including that of our own species. Accordingly, we suggest you sign the ecocentrism statement.
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Goltigami The stability and importance of individual differences in anthropomorphism. Nature and the sacred: In reality, for subjects such as information and environment, science teachers are inevitably put in the situation to take care of class attendance, and the basic idea of interrelationship between teachers of different subjects has been forgotten to some extent. Cultural ecofeminism prizes the special, essential relationship between women and nature. Considering the above points, environmental education plays an important role in developing the minds of children. Thus, as with responses to Silent Springthere was an increased recognition of the relationship between environmental and social issues, and nature writers and philosophers began to combine radical politics with environmental problems. To answer moral queries such as these, one could point to the wellbeing of future generations and the survival of the human species. The Rigveda states that trees and plants possess divine healing properties.
Quotes[ edit ] According to Stan Rowe:  The ecocentric argument is grounded in the belief that, compared to the undoubted importance of the human part, the whole ecosphere is even more significant and consequential: more inclusive, more complex, more integrated, more creative, more beautiful, more mysterious, and older than time. It must be a vital outgrowth from our science-based culture. It seems to me that the only promising universal belief-system is ecocentrism, defined as a value-shift from Homo sapiens to planet earth. A scientific rationale backs the value-shift. All organisms are evolved from Earth, sustained by Earth.
ANTHROPOCENTRISM BIOCENTRISM AND ECOCENTRISM PDF