Communicative ethics and moral considerability

Environmental Ethics 29 (3):247-266 (2007)
Abstract
Although nonhuman entities are indeed incapable of entering into contractual relations with humans or of participating in social dialogue on ethical norms, they can nonetheless become the objects of moral consideration on the part of humans. Moral consideration need not be extended universally to all nonnatural entities, but only to those entities with which humans interact. Rather than regard some or all of the natural world as having “intrinsic value,” considered judgments must be made regarding which parts of nature can be legitimately used for human purposes and which should be left alone. What needs to be justified are not attempts to preserve nature but rather any human interventions which infringe on the autonomy of nature
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