The Theory Of Environmental Ethics Essay

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Paul W. Taylor was a philosopher most known for his work in the field of environmental ethics. In 1996, Taylor published Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics, in which he argues for the theory of Biocentrism. Biocentrism is an "attitude of respect for nature", whereby one attempts to make an effort to live one 's life in a way that respects the welfare and inherent worth of all living creatures. This egalitarian theory is a biologically-informed, philosophical worldview about humans, nature, and the place of human civilization in the natural world. Taylor uses the theory to create a model for the equal consideration of all sentient beings based on a conceptual shift that the mental state of an organism’s well-being is it’s ability to realize biological powers.

Taylor’s argument for “respect of nature” stems from a number of principles of moral consideration and intrinsic value that establish all living things as teleological centers of life. This means that the actions of an individual’s life directs them toward some distinctive goal in life or Telos; for example, a caterpillar larva metamorphosing into a butterfly. It’s Taylor’s contention that viewing individuals as teleological centers of life makes it easier to see that some things, are good for that individual, and some are bad. Taylor separates these into “flourishing” as an individual and not, respectively.

Upon understanding this conceptual shift, Taylor argues that all living organisms can be
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