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Anthropocentrism

About: Anthropocentrism is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 1872 publications have been published within this topic receiving 24236 citations.


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TL;DR: In a recent work, Latour as discussed by the authors argued that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies.
Abstract: Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. By Bruno Latour. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004; pp. x + 307. $55.00 cloth; $24.95 paper. The academic study of environmental ethics, particularly of "deep ecology," has generated extensive scholarly discussion in recent years. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy, by French author Bruno Latour, brings a fascinating and bold new twist to contemporary discussions about the nature of "nature." Latour proposes a radical shift in current conceptions of "political ecology," arguing that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies. Instead, political ecology should abandon socially constructed representations of nature as an uncontrollable monolith. The former perspective is dangerous, Latour argues, because it enables science to silence public deliberation about ecological issues and close off options to prevent pending environmental crises. The rhetoric of science, whose credibility emanates from the dual sources of indisputable expertise and dire warnings, paralyzes the polis. Unable to contest scientific fact, and faced with pending environmental cataclysm, public and political discussion centered on the inevitable question of "What next?" becomes stagnant and devoid of solutions. In the first chapter, Latour argues that "nature is the chief obstacle that has hampered the development of public discourse" (9). Nature, or at least the agreed-upon external reality that is often represented as nature, allows science to render the public sphere voiceless. Unqualified to objectively test and observe natural facts, the polis is relegated to the sidelines, and engages in endless quibbling about matters of value which are a rung lower on the hierarchy of social concerns. The hegemony of science and the god-like status of the scientist, who is the only legitimate liaison between the natural world and the public, render meaningful political discourse impotent. "[T]he Scientist can go back and forth from one world to the other no matter what: the passageway closed to all others is open to him alone" (11). Latour concludes this chapter by examining how Western societies, particularly the United States, use nature to order and organize political life. Uncontestable facts of nature, and rhetoric that represents nature as something to be controlled, protected, or managed, permeate everyday political discourse and decision-making to a degree not seen in other cultures. Having thrown off the yoke of nature, Latour sketches one precondition for a more communal and sustainable political ecology in chapter 2. Here, a critique of anthropocentrism is used to cast off false, socially constructed distinctions between human and nonhuman, including animals and inanimate objects like rocks and trees. Of particular interest to rhetorical scholars, Latour also criticizes at length the modernist belief that speech and the capacity for rational thought distinguish humans from nonhumans. Instead, he posits that political ecology must be recast as a collective of beings both human and nonhuman, both capable of speech and mute: "a slight displacement of our attention suffices to show that nonhumans, too, are implicated in a great number of speech impedimenta" (62-63). This rethinking of the public collective is necessary to prevent scientists from imposing the idea that they definitively represent and speak for nature (the mute objects that they seek so earnestly to protect). …

778 citations

Book
11 Apr 2011
TL;DR: In this paper, Taylor draws on biology, moral philosophy, and environmental science to defend a biocentric environmental ethic in which all life has value, without making claims for the moral rights of plants and animals.
Abstract: What rational justification is there for conceiving of all living things as possessing inherent worth? In Respect for Nature, Paul Taylor draws on biology, moral philosophy, and environmental science to defend a biocentric environmental ethic in which all life has value. Without making claims for the moral rights of plants and animals, he offers a reasoned alternative to the prevailing anthropocentric view--that the natural environment and its wildlife are valued only as objects for human use or enjoyment. Respect for Nature provides both a full account of the biological conditions for life--human or otherwise--and a comprehensive view of the complex relationship between human beings and the whole of nature. This classic book remains a valuable resource for philosophers, biologists, and environmentalists alike--along with all those who care about the future of life on Earth. A new foreword by Dale Jamieson looks at how the original 1986 edition of Respect for Nature has shaped the study of environmental ethics, and shows why the work remains relevant to debates today.

680 citations

Book
Andrew Dobson1
01 Jan 1990
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss the reasons to care for the environment crisis and its political-strategic consequences, universality and social change lessons from nature left and right: communism and capitalism historical specificity conclusion.
Abstract: Acknowledgements Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the Third Edition Introduction Part 1: Thinking About Ecologism: sustainable societies reasons to care for the environment crisis and its political-strategic consequences universality and social change lessons from nature left and right: communism and capitalism historical specificity conclusion Part 2: Philosophical Foundations: Ethics: a code of conduct Ethics: a state of being anthropocentrism Part 3: The Sustainable Society: limits to growth possible positions more problems with growth questioning consumption questioning consumption: need questioning consumption: population questioning consumption: technology energy trade and travel work bioregionalism agriculture diversity decentralization and its limits Part 4: Strategies for Green Change: democracy and authoritarianism action through and around the legislature lifestyle communities direct action class conclusion Part 5: Ecologism and Other Ideologies: liberalism conservatism socialism eco-feminism conclusion. Conclusion Bibliography Index

648 citations

Book
01 Jan 2001
TL;DR: The politics of ecological rationality and its blindspots are discussed in this paper, with a focus on human-centeredness and human-centricness in the context of ecology.
Abstract: Introduction 1. The Ecological Crisis of Reason 2. Rationalism and the Ambiguity of Science 3. The Politics of Ecological Rationality 4. Inequality and Ecological Rationality 5. Human-Centredness and its Blindspots 6. Philosophy, Prudence and Anthropocentrism 7. The Ethics of Commodification 8. Towards a Dialogical Interspecies Ethics 9. Unity, Solidarity and Deep Ecology 10. Towards a Spirituality of Place

648 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe and reflect on seven recurring critiques of the concept of ecosystem services and respective counter-arguments and contribute to a more structured debate between opponents and proponents of the ecosystem services concept.
Abstract: We describe and reflect on seven recurring critiques of the concept of ecosystem services and respective counter-arguments. First, the concept is criticized for being anthropocentric, whereas others argue that it goes beyond instrumental values. Second, some argue that the concept promotes an exploitative human-nature relationship, whereas others state that it reconnects society to ecosystems, emphasizing humanity's dependence on nature. Third, concerns exist that the concept may conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives, whereas others emphasize complementarity. Fourth, the concept is questioned because of its supposed focus on economic valuation, whereas others argue that ecosystem services science includes many values. Fifth, the concept is criticized for promoting commodification of nature, whereas others point out that most ecosystem services are not connected to market-based instruments. Sixth, vagueness of definitions and classifications are stated to be a weakness, whereas others argue that vagueness enhances transdisciplinary collaboration. Seventh, some criticize the normative nature of the concept, implying that all outcomes of ecosystem processes are desirable. The normative nature is indeed typical for the concept, but should not be problematic when acknowledged. By disentangling and contrasting different arguments we hope to contribute to a more structured debate between opponents and proponents of the ecosystem services concept.

526 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
2023317
2022688
2021125
2020143
2019152
2018144