The moral standing of natural objects

Environmental Ethics 6 (1):35-56 (1984)
Authors
Andrew Brennan
La Trobe University
Abstract
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
Keywords Applied Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0163-4275
DOI 10.5840/enviroethics19846118
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Citations of this work BETA

Naturalness in Biological Conservation.Helena Siipi - 2004 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (6):457-477.
Making and Finding Values in Nature: From a Humean Point of View.Y. S. Lo - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):123 – 147.
Letting in the Jungle.Michael F. Smith - 1991 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 8 (2):145-154.
Environmental Awareness and Liberal Education.Andrew Brennan - 1991 - British Journal of Educational Studies 39 (3):279 - 296.
Experimental Approaches to Moral Standing.Geoffrey P. Goodwin - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):914-926.

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