The moral standing of natural objects

Environmental Ethics 6 (1):35-56 (1984)
Human beings are, as far as we know, the only animals to have moral concerns and to adopt moralities, but it would be a mistake to be misled by this fact into thinking that humans are also the only proper objects of moral consideration. I argue that we ought to allow even nonliving things a significant moral status, thus denying the condusion of much contemporary moral thinking. First, I consider the possibilityof giving moral consideration to nonliving things. Second, I put forward grounds which justify this extension of morality beyond its conventional boundarles. Third, I argue that natural objects have a status different from a special dass of artifacts -works of art. Fourth, I discuss the notion of interest, and fifth I look brietly at the status of natural systems and at ways we might link the proposed extension of moral considerability with the rest of our moral thinking
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DOI 10.5840/enviroethics19846118
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Helena Siipi (2004). Naturalness in Biological Conservation. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (6):457-477.
Andrew Brennan (1991). Environmental Awareness and Liberal Education. British Journal of Educational Studies 39 (3):279 - 296.
Michael F. Smith (1991). Letting in the Jungle. Journal of Applied Philosophy 8 (2):145-154.

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