David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Environmental Ethics 14 (1):27-42 (1992)
While some form of nonanthropocentrism is a defining feature of environmental ethics, there are at least four senses in which the value of nature might be said to be humanly independent, and these are often conflated. I argue that the strongest of these four (Roiston’s “autonomous intrinsic value”) may require classic ontological commitments which are no longer historically open to uso However, if we take seriously the language dependent view of nature suggested by post-Wittgensteinian epistemology, we find paradoxically that this kind of anthropocentrism can ground a genuine sense in which nature is valuable in its own right, yet as part of human good. In this context, Roiston’s distinction between “autonomous intrinsic value” and “anthropogenic intrinsic value” becomes a distinction without a difference
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