What Are The Ideologies Associated With Societal Views Of The Environment And How One Should Effectively Approach Natural Resource Conservation

1536 Words Feb 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Caroline Cooper
Professor M. Sellers
PUP4224
February 12, 2016
Environmental Values
Today, there are three main ideologies associated with societal views of the environment and how one should effectively approach natural resource conservation. There is anthropocentrism which places human needs and utility as the highest priority and values the environment only to the point at which it is useful to humans. In the words of Aristotle (Politics, Bk. 1, Ch. 8), “nature has made all things specifically for the sake of man” (Brennan, 2002). This ideology focuses on “use value” of resources, seeing them as tools to increase the wellbeing of society (Mazzotta, 1995). This “use value” can and has been put into specific dollar amounts that are assigned to ecosystem services through the study of natural resource economics, which is an inherently anthropocentric practice. Intrinsic value is found namely in humans and therefore any environmental action is constituted as justifiable as long as it promotes human interest (Brennan, 2002). Conversely, ecocentrism sees humans as a part of the Earth’s ecosystems rather than the overseeing entity of them. This view holds intrinsic value in the environment itself and therefore asserts that humans do not possess the power to decide what portions of the planet to protect (Mazzotta, 1995). Rather, humans are seen as environmental stewards and as a part of a larger ecological system. Ecocentrism gives nonhuman entities possession of moral…
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