The Ethics For Respect For Nature

1477 Words6 Pages
In Paul Taylor’s essay, “The Ethics for Respect for Nature,” he argues that… In this paper I will first describe Taylor’s concept of “respect for nature.” I will then explain the part this attitude plays in rationally grounding a biocentric outlook on environmental ethics. Lastly, I will present Rosalind Hursthouse’s criticism of Taylor’s view, and state how Taylor might respond to this criticism. Paul Taylor approaches “respect for nature” as a moral attitude, meaning that if an individual is unable to comprehend the “meaning and conditions of applicability” of the attitude, they are also unable to have the attitude as a part of their “moral outlook” (Taylor 103). “Respect for nature” is defined by two essential concepts, the good of a being, and the concept of inherent worth. The good of a being is applicable to “every organism, species population, and community of life” (Taylor 103). An entity has a good of its own if, “without reference to any other entity, it can be benefited or harmed” (Taylor 103). Simply stated, what is advantageous for an entity in the sense of “enhancing or preserving its life and well-being” is good for it (Taylor 103). What is disadvantageous for an entity in the sense of being “detrimental to its life and well-being” is not good for it (Taylor 103). The good of an “individual nonhuman organism” is realized to the extent that it is “strong and healthy” (Taylor 103). An entity is said to be “strong and healthy” to Taylor if it “possesses
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