The man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

The man-nature relationship and environmental ethics.

the man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

nature conservation and biodiversity management policies: Between Man and nature. There is no . The main currents in environmental ethics. Catherine .. Having been a writer for the popular science tatsdirective/docs/_07_im. pdf. fact about environmental problems is that they are mainly human-caused. These .. human-nature relationship and forthe good ofnonhuman moral subjects. .. various other liberation movements, some writers, such as Ynestra King (a. In the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, when environmental awareness viable, sustainable relationship in which connections to the global world are recognized by a host of artists, writers, philosophers, and ordinary people, Nature was a plagues resulted from human failure to obey the strictures of moral life.

Recent uses of "social ecol- ife in fairly conventional ecological terms irt which glibly pick up the term serve to tend to compromise efforts to deepen oui let than opposed domains. To say that culture is precisely: The twentieth century alorie nses" as well as to ottr folk creativity and loudly, so brashly, so trivially, so thinly, so: The con- e aspects of domination that hu- le-doniinated social system exerts gic of domination are central to nainstream feminist theory might 1.

Behind this model are assump- i's previous essay except that the context of domination in general, actions into a comparative context ism, c radical feminism, and d analysis is to create a synergy of minism as an essential element to ifies eight points of feminism that hat are missing in the current so- ed is that Warren does not helieve.

The question After proposing the feminist po- i with ecofeminism objectives to show how similar these two worldviews are and that they should therefore be accepted as a package.

Val Plumwood argues in her essay that the issues of discontinuity and of instrumentalism are among the most important ones to be addressed.

In this way, the lessons of the deep ecologists are accepted. However, deep ecology goes too far in iden- tifying the self with the biosphere and should instead critique social insti- tutions and patriarchy for they are the human institutions that promote instrumentalism. Men use women as the tools by which their purposes might be fulfilled. In the same way, humans use nature as a tool; but like the social ecologists, the ecofeminists emphasize the development of actual people as opposed to the Hindu self of the deep ecologists in a community both social and natural.

Ecofeminism and Feminist Theory Carolyn Merchant The term ecofeminisme was coined by the French writer Francoise d'Eaubonne in to represent women's potential for bringing about an ecological revo- lution to ensure human survival on the planet.

Radi- cal ecofeminism analyzes environmental problems from within its critique of patriarchy and offers alternatives that could liberate both women and nature. Socialist ecofeminism grounds its analysis in capitalist patriarchy and would totally restructure, through a socialist revolution, the domination of women and nature inherent in the market economy's use of both as resources. Its roots are liberalism, the political theory that incorporates the scientific analysis that nature is com- posed of atoms moved by external forces with a theory of human nature that views humans as individual rational agents who maximize their own self- interest and capitalism as the optimal economic structure for human progress.

Historically, liberal feminists have argued that women do not differ from men. Better science, conservation, and laws are the proper approaches to resolving resource problems.

Given equal educational opportunities to become scientists, natural resource man- agers, regulators, lawyers, and legislators, women like men can contribute to the improvement of the environment, the conservation of natural resources, and the higher quality of human life.

Women, therefore, can transcend the so- cial stigma of their biology and join men in the cultural project of environ- mental conservation. Radical feminism developed in the late s and s with the sec- ond wave of feminism. The radical form of ecofeminism is a response to the perception that women and nature have been mutually associated and de- valued in Western culture andxthat both can be elevated and liberated through direct political action. In prehistory an emerging patriarchal culture dethroned the mother Goddesses and replaced them with male gods to whom the female deities became subservient.

The Earth is to be dominated by male-developed and -controlled tech- nology, science, and industry. Radical feminism instead celebrates the relationship between women and nature through the revival of ancient rituals centered on Goddess worship, the moon, animals, and the female reproductive system. A vision in which nature is held in esteem as mother and Goddess is a source of inspiration and empowerment for many ecoferninists. Spirituahty is seen as a source of both personal and social change.

Goddess worship and rituals centered around the lunar and female menstrual cycles, lectures, concerts, art exhibitions, street and theater productions, and direct political action web weaving in anti- nuclear protests are all examples of the re-visioning of nature and women as powerful forces.

For radical feminists, human nature is grounded in human biology. Hu- mans are biologically sexed and socially gendered. Its roots are liberalism, the: Given entists, natural resource man- cien like men can contribute to nervation of natural resources, herefore, can transcend the so- le cultural project of environ- s and s with the sec- feminism is a response to the mutually associated and de-?

A vision in which s is a source of inspiration and lity is seen as a source of both nd rituals centered around the oncerts, art exhibitions, street action web weaving in anti- Drung of nature and women as ly embraces intuition, an ethic ships.

Hence the personal is political. Rad- ical feminists object to the dominant society's perception that women are lim- ited by being closer to nature because of their ability to bear children. The dominant view is that menstruation, pregnancy, nursing, and nurturing of in- fants and young children should tie women to the home, decreasing their mo- bility and inhibiting tiieir ability to remain in the work force.

Radical feminists argue that the perception that women are totally oriented toward biological reproduction degrades them by association with a nature that is itself deval- ued in Western culture. Women's biology and nature should instead be cele- brated as sources of female power. Turning the perceived connection between women and biological re- production upside down becomes the source of women's empowerment and ecological activism.

Women argue that male-designed and -produced tech- nologies neglect the effects of nuclear radiation, pesticides, hazardous wastes, and household chemicals on women's reproductive organs and on the ecosys- tem. They argue that radioactivity from nuclear wastes, power plants, and bombs is a potential cause of birth defects, cancers, and the elimination of life on Earth. They object to pesticides and herbicides being sprayed on crops and forests as potentially affecting children and the childbearing women living near them.

Women frequently spearhead local actions against spray- ing and power plant siting and organize others to demand toxic cleanups.

When coupled with an environmental ethic that values rather than degrades nature, such actions have the potential both for raising women's consciousness of their own oppression and for the liberation of nature from the polluting ef- fects of industrialization.

For example, many lower-middle-class women who became politicized through protests over toxic chemical wastes at Love Canal in New York simultaneously became feminists when their activism spilled over into their home lives.

The man-nature relationship and environmental ethics.

Any analysis that makes women's essence and qualities special ties them to a biological destiny that thwarts the possibility of liberation. A politics grounded in women's culture, experience, and values can be seen as reactionary.

the man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

To date, socialist feminists have had little to say about the problem of the domination of nature. To them, the source of male doiriination of women is the complex of social patterns called capitalist patriarchy, in which men bear the responsibility for labor in. For socialist ecofeminism, environmental problems are rooted in the rise of capitalist patriarchy and the ideology that the Earth and nature can be ex- ploited for human progress through technology.

Historically, the rise of cap- italism eroded the subsistence-based farm and city workshop in which production was oriented toward use values and men and women were eco- nomic partners. The result was a capitalist economy dominated by men and a domestic sphere in which women's labor in the home was unpaid and sub- ordinate to men's labor in the marketplace. Both women and nature are ex- ploited by men as part of the progressive liberation of humans from the constraints imposed by nature.

The consequence is the alienation of women and men from each other and both from nature. Socialist feminism incorporates many of the insights of radical femi- nism, but views both nature and human nature as historically and socially constructed.

Human nature is seen as the product of historically changing in- teractions between humans and nature, men and women, classes, and races. Any meaningful analysis must be grounded in an understanding of power not only in the personal but also in the political sphere. Like radical feminism, socialist fenrinism is critical of mechanistic science's treatment of nature as passive and of its male-dominated power structures.

Similarly, it deplores the lack of a gender analysis in history and the omission of any treatment of women's reproductive and nurturing roles.

But rather than grounding its analysis in biological reproduction alone, it also incorporates social repro- duction. Materialism, not spiritualism, is the driving force of social change.

Environmental Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

We affirm finally that any deliberate attempt to reach a rational and enduring state of equilibrium by planned measures, rather than by chance or catastrophe, must ultimately be founded on a basic change of values and goals at individual, national and world levels.

The new field emerged almost simultaneously in three countries—the United States, Australia, and Norway. In the first two of these countries, direction and inspiration largely came from the earlier twentieth century American literature of the environment.

That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. His views therefore presented a challenge and opportunity for moral theorists: The land ethic sketched by Leopold, attempting to extend our moral concern to cover the natural environment and its non-human contents, was drawn on explicitly by the Australian philosopher Richard Routley later Sylvan. According to Routley cf.

From the human-chauvinistic or absolutely anthropocentric perspective, the last person would do nothing morally wrong, since his or her destructive act in question would not cause any damage to the interest and well-being of humans, who would by then have disappeared.

Nevertheless, Routley points out that there is a moral intuition that the imagined last acts would be morally wrong. An explanation for this judgment, he argued, is that those non-human objects in the environment, whose destruction is ensured by the last person or last people, have intrinsic value, a kind of value independent of their usefulness for humans.

From his critique, Routley concluded that the main approaches in traditional western moral thinking were unable to allow the recognition that natural things have intrinsic value, and that the tradition required overhaul of a significant kind.

It would be wrong, he maintained, to eliminate a rare butterfly species simply to increase the monetary value of specimens already held by collectors. Species, Rolston went on to argue, are intrinsically valuable and are usually more valuable than individual specimens, since the loss of a species is a loss of genetic possibilities and the deliberate destruction of a species would show disrespect for the very biological processes which make possible the emergence of individual living things also see RolstonCh Meanwhile, the work of Christopher Stone a professor of law at the University of Southern California had become widely discussed.

Stone proposed that trees and other natural objects should have at least the same standing in law as corporations. This suggestion was inspired by a particular case in which the Sierra Club had mounted a challenge against the permit granted by the U.

Forest Service to Walt Disney Enterprises for surveys preparatory to the development of the Mineral King Valley, which was at the time a relatively remote game refuge, but not designated as a national park or protected wilderness area. The Disney proposal was to develop a major resort complex serving visitors daily to be accessed by a purpose-built highway through Sequoia National Park.

The Sierra Club, as a body with a general concern for wilderness conservation, challenged the development on the grounds that the valley should be kept in its original state for its own sake.

Stone reasoned that if trees, forests and mountains could be given standing in law then they could be represented in their own right in the courts by groups such as the Sierra Club.

Moreover, like any other legal person, these natural things could become beneficiaries of compensation if it could be shown that they had suffered compensatable injury through human activity. When the case went to the U. Supreme Court, it was determined by a narrow majority that the Sierra Club did not meet the condition for bringing a case to court, for the Club was unable and unwilling to prove the likelihood of injury to the interest of the Club or its members.

Only items that have interests, Feinberg argued, can be regarded as having legal standing and, likewise, moral standing. For it is interests which are capable of being represented in legal proceedings and moral debates. This same point would also seem to apply to political debates. Granted that some animals have interests that can be represented in this way, would it also make sense to speak of trees, forests, rivers, barnacles, or termites as having interests of a morally relevant kind?

This issue was hotly contested in the years that followed. Skeptical of the prospects for any radically new ethic, Passmore cautioned that traditions of thought could not be abruptly overhauled. Any change in attitudes to our natural surroundings which stood the chance of widespread acceptance, he argued, would have to resonate and have some continuities with the very tradition which had legitimized our destructive practices.

The confluence of ethical, political and legal debates about the environment, the emergence of philosophies to underpin animal rights activism and the puzzles over whether an environmental ethic would be something new rather than a modification or extension of existing ethical theories were reflected in wider social and political movements.

It is not clear, however, that collectivist or communist countries do any better in terms of their environmental record see Dominick All three shared a passion for the great mountains. The deep ecologist respects this intrinsic value, taking care, for example, when walking on the mountainside not to cause unnecessary damage to the plants. To make such a separation not only leads to selfishness towards other people, but also induces human selfishness towards nature.

The identity of a living thing is essentially constituted by its relations to other things in the world, especially its ecological relations to other living things.

If people conceptualise themselves and the world in relational terms, the deep ecologists argue, then people will take better care of nature and the world in general. The idea is, briefly, that by identifying with nature I can enlarge the boundaries of the self beyond my skin. To respect and to care for my Self is also to respect and to care for the natural environment, which is actually part of me and with which I should identify.

GreyTaylor and Zimmerman It also remains unclear in what sense rivers, mountains and forests can be regarded as possessors of any kind of interests. Biospheric egalitarianism was modified in the s to the weaker claim that the flourishing of both human and non-human life have value in themselves. The platform was conceived as establishing a middle ground, between underlying philosophical orientations, whether Christian, Buddhist, Daoist, process philosophy, or whatever, and the practical principles for action in specific situations, principles generated from the underlying philosophies.

Thus the deep ecological movement became explicitly pluralist see Brennan ; c. These "relationalist" developments of deep ecology are, however, criticized by some feminist theorists. The idea of nature as part of oneself, one might argue, could justify the continued exploitation of nature instead.

For one is presumably more entitled to treat oneself in whatever ways one likes than to treat another independent agent in whatever ways one likes.

Meanwhile, some third-world critics accused deep ecology of being elitist in its attempts to preserve wilderness experiences for only a select group of economically and socio-politically well-off people. The Indian writer Ramachandra Guhafor instance, depicts the activities of many western-based conservation groups as a new form of cultural imperialism, aimed at securing converts to conservationism cf.

Bookchin and Brennan a. Finally, in other critiques, deep ecology is portrayed as having an inconsistent utopian vision see Anker and Witoszek By the mid s, feminist writers had raised the issue of whether patriarchal modes of thinking encouraged not only widespread inferiorizing and colonizing of women, but also of people of colour, animals and nature.

Sheila Collinsfor instance, argued that male-dominated culture or patriarchy is supported by four interlocking pillars: Emphasizing the importance of feminism to the environmental movement and various other liberation movements, some writers, such as Ynestra King a and bargue that the domination of women by men is historically the original form of domination in human society, from which all other hierarchies—of rank, class, and political power—flow. For instance, human exploitation of nature may be seen as a manifestation and extension of the oppression of women, in that it is the result of associating nature with the female, which had been already inferiorized and oppressed by the male-dominating culture.

But within the plurality of feminist positions, other writers, such as Val Plumwoodunderstand the oppression of women as only one of the many parallel forms of oppression sharing and supported by a common ideological structure, in which one party the colonizer, whether male, white or human uses a number of conceptual and rhetorical devices to privilege its interests over that of the other party the colonized: Facilitated by a common structure, seemingly diverse forms of oppression can mutually reinforce each other Warren,Cheneyand Plumwood These patterns of thinking and conceptualizing the world, many feminist theorists argue, also nourish and sustain other forms of chauvinism, including, human-chauvinism i.

Furthermore, under dualism all the first items in these contrasting pairs are assimilated with each other, and all the second items are likewise linked with each other. For example, the male is seen to be associated with the rational, active, creative, Cartesian human mind, and civilized, orderly, transcendent culture; whereas the female is regarded as tied to the emotional, passive, determined animal body, and primitive, disorderly, immanent nature.

These interlocking dualisms are not just descriptive dichotomies, according to the feminists, but involve a prescriptive privileging of one side of the opposed items over the other. Dualism confers superiority to everything on the male side, but inferiority to everything on the female side. The problem with dualistic and hierarchical modes of thinking, however, is not just that that they are epistemically unreliable.

It is not just that the dominating party often falsely sees the dominated party as lacking or possessing the allegedly superior or inferior qualities, or that the dominated party often internalizes false stereotypes of itself given by its oppressors, or that stereotypical thinking often overlooks salient and important differences among individuals.

Environmental ethics | Michael Boylan - webob.info

More important, according to feminist analyses, the very premise of prescriptive dualism—the valuing of attributes of one polarized side and the devaluing of those of the other, the idea that domination and oppression can be justified by appealing to attributes like masculinity, rationality, being civilized or developed, etc. Feminism represents a radical challenge for environmental thinking, politics, and traditional social ethical perspectives. It promises to link environmental questions with wider social problems concerning various kinds of discrimination and exploitation, and fundamental investigations of human psychology.

However, whether there are conceptual, causal or merely contingent connections among the different forms of oppression and liberation remains a contested issue see Green However, because of the varieties of, and disagreements among, feminist theories, the label may be too wide to be informative and has generally fallen from use.

At the root of this alienation, they argue, is a narrow positivist conception of rationality—which sees rationality as an instrument for pursuing progress, power and technological control, and takes observation, measurement and the application of purely quantitative methods to be capable of solving all problems. Such a positivistic view of science combines determinism with optimism. Natural processes as well as human activities are seen to be predictable and manipulable. Nature and, likewise, human nature is no longer mysterious, uncontrollable, or fearsome.

Instead, it is reduced to an object strictly governed by natural laws, which therefore can be studied, known, and employed to our benefit.

Environmental philosophy

By promising limitless knowledge and power, the positivism of science and technology not only removes our fear of nature, the critical theorists argue, but also destroys our sense of awe and wonder towards it. The progress in knowledge and material well-being may not be a bad thing in itself, where the consumption and control of nature is a necessary part of human life.

the man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

However, the critical theorists argue that the positivistic disenchantment of natural things and, likewise, of human beings—because they too can be studied and manipulated by science disrupts our relationship with them, encouraging the undesirable attitude that they are nothing more than things to be probed, consumed and dominated. To remedy such an alienation, the project of Horkheimer and Adorno is to replace the narrow positivistic and instrumentalist model of rationality with a more humanistic one, in which the values of the aesthetic, moral, sensuous and expressive aspects of human life play a central part.

Thus, their aim is not to give up our rational faculties or powers of analysis and logic. Rather, the ambition is to arrive at a dialectical synthesis between Romanticism and Enlightenment, to return to anti-deterministic values of freedom, spontaneity and creativity. Not only do we stop seeing nature as primarily, or simply, an object of consumption, we are also able to be directly and spontaneously acquainted with nature without interventions from our rational faculties.

The re-enchantment of the world through aesthetic experience, he argues, is also at the same time a re-enchantment of human lives and purposes.

Ecocritique does not think that it is paradoxical to say, in the name of ecology itself: It remains to be seen, however, whether the radical attempt to purge the concept of nature from eco-critical work meets with success.

On the other hand, the new animists have been much inspired by the serious way in which some indigenous peoples placate and interact with animals, plants and inanimate things through ritual, ceremony and other practices. According to the new animists, the replacement of traditional animism the view that personalized souls are found in animals, plants, and other material objects by a form of disenchanting positivism directly leads to an anthropocentric perspective, which is accountable for much human destructiveness towards nature.

In a disenchanted world, there is no meaningful order of things or events outside the human domain, and there is no source of sacredness or dread of the sort felt by those who regard the natural world as peopled by divinities or demons Stone When a forest is no longer sacred, there are no spirits to be placated and no mysterious risks associated with clear-felling it.

A disenchanted nature is no longer alive. It commands no respect, reverence or love. It is nothing but a giant machine, to be mastered to serve human purposes. The new animists argue for reconceptualizing the boundary between persons and non-persons.

Whether the notion that a mountain or a tree is to be regarded as a person is taken literally or not, the attempt to engage with the surrounding world as if it consists of other persons might possibly provide the basis for a respectful attitude to nature see Harvey for a popular account of the new animism. If disenchantment is a source of environmental problems and destruction, then the new animism can be regarded as attempting to re-enchant, and help to save, nature.

In her work, Freya Mathews has tried to articulate a version of animism or panpsychism that captures ways in which the world not just nature contains many kinds of consciousness and sentience. Instead of bulldozing away old suburbs and derelict factories, the synergistic panpsychist sees these artefacts as themselves part of the living cosmos, hence part of what is to be respected. Likewise, instead of trying to eliminate feral or exotic plants and animals, and restore environments to some imagined pristine state, ways should be found—wherever possible—to promote synergies between the newcomers and the older native populations in ways that maintain ecological flows and promote the further unfolding and developing of ecological processes Mathews Environmentalism, on his view, is a social movement, and the problems it confronts are social problems.

While Bookchin is prepared, like Horkheimer and Adorno, to regard first nature as an aesthetic and sensuous marvel, he regards our intervention in it as necessary. He suggests that we can choose to put ourselves at the service of natural evolution, to help maintain complexity and diversity, diminish suffering and reduce pollution.

While Bookchin is more of a technological optimist than Mumford, both writers have inspired a regional turn in environmental thinking. Bioregionalism gives regionalism an environmental twist. This is the view that natural features should provide the defining conditions for places of community, and that secure and satisfying local lives are led by those who know a place, have learned its lore and who adapt their lifestyle to its affordances by developing its potential within ecological limits.

Such a life, the bioregionalists argue, will enable people to enjoy the fruits of self-liberation and self-development see the essays in Listand the book-length treatment in Thayerfor an introduction to bioregional thought. However, critics have asked why natural features should significant in defining the places in which communities are to be built, and have puzzled over exactly which natural features these should be—geological, ecological, climatic, hydrological, and so on see Brennan b.

If relatively small, bioregional communities are to be home to flourishing human societies, then a question also arises over the nature of the laws and punishments that will prevail in them, and also of their integration into larger regional and global political and economic groupings.

For anarchists and other critics of the predominant social order, a return to self-governing and self-sufficient regional communities is often depicted as liberating and refreshing. But for the skeptics, the worry remains that the bioregional vision is politically over-optimistic and is open to the establishment of illiberal, stifling and undemocratic communities.

Further, given its emphasis on local self-sufficiency and the virtue of life in small communities, a question arises over whether bioregionalism is workable in an overcrowded planet. Deep ecology, feminism, and social ecology have had a considerable impact on the development of political positions in regard to the environment. Feminist analyses have often been welcomed for the psychological insight they bring to several social, moral and political problems.

There is, however, considerable unease about the implications of critical theory, social ecology and some varieties of deep ecology and animism. A further suggestion is that there is a need to reassess traditional theories such as virtue ethics, which has its origins in ancient Greek philosophy see the following section within the context of a form of stewardship similar to that earlier endorsed by Passmore see Barry If this last claim is correct, then the radical activist need not, after all, look for philosophical support in radical, or countercultural, theories of the sort deep ecology, feminism, bioregionalism and social ecology claim to be but see Zimmerman Traditional Ethical Theories and Contemporary Environment Ethics Although environmental ethicists often try to distance themselves from the anthropocentrism embedded in traditional ethical views PassmoreNorton are exceptionsthey also quite often draw their theoretical resources from traditional ethical systems and theories.

Consider the following two basic moral questions: From this perspective, answers to question 2 are informed by answers to question 1. As the utilitarian focus is the balance of pleasure and pain as such, the question of to whom a pleasure or pain belongs is irrelevant to the calculation and assessment of the rightness or wrongness of actions. Hence, the eighteenth century utilitarian Jeremy Benthamand now Peter Singerhave argued that the interests of all the sentient beings i.

Singer regards the animal liberation movement as comparable to the liberation movements of women and people of colour. Unlike the environmental philosophers who attribute intrinsic value to the natural environment and its inhabitants, Singer and utilitarians in general attribute intrinsic value to the experience of pleasure or interest satisfaction as such, not to the beings who have the experience. Similarly, for the utilitarian, non-sentient objects in the environment such as plant species, rivers, mountains, and landscapes, all of which are the objects of moral concern for environmentalists, are of no intrinsic but at most instrumental value to the satisfaction of sentient beings see SingerCh.

Furthermore, because right actions, for the utilitarian, are those that maximize the overall balance of interest satisfaction over frustration, practices such as whale-hunting and the killing of an elephant for ivory, which cause suffering to non-human animals, might turn out to be right after all: As the result of all the above considerations, it is unclear to what extent a utilitarian ethic can also be an environmental ethic.

the man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

This point may not so readily apply to a wider consequentialist approach, which attributes intrinsic value not only to pleasure or satisfaction, but also to various objects and processes in the natural environment. Deontological ethical theories, in contrast, maintain that whether an action is right or wrong is for the most part independent of whether its consequences are good or bad. From the deontologist perspective, there are several distinct moral rules or duties e.

the man nature relationship and environmental ethics pdf writer

When asked to justify an alleged moral rule, duty or its corresponding right, deontologists may appeal to the intrinsic value of those beings to whom it applies. We have, in particular, a prima facie moral duty not to harm them. Regan maintains that certain practices such as sport or commercial hunting, and experimentation on animals violate the moral right of intrinsically valuable animals to respectful treatment.

Such practices, he argues, are intrinsically wrong regardless of whether or not some better consequences ever flow from them. Exactly which animals have intrinsic value and therefore the moral right to respectful treatment? To be such a subject is a sufficient though not necessary condition for having intrinsic value, and to be a subject-of-a-life involves, among other things, having sense-perceptions, beliefs, desires, motives, memory, a sense of the future, and a psychological identity over time.

Some authors have extended concern for individual well-being further, arguing for the intrinsic value of organisms achieving their own good, whether those organisms are capable of consciousness or not. Furthermore, Taylor maintains that the intrinsic value of wild living things generates a prima facie moral duty on our part to preserve or promote their goods as ends in themselves, and that any practices which treat those beings as mere means and thus display a lack of respect for them are intrinsically wrong.

A more recent and biologically detailed defence of the idea that living things have representations and goals and hence have moral worth is found in Agar Attfield also endorses a form of consequentialism which takes into consideration, and attempts to balance, the many and possibly conflicting goods of different living things also see Varner for a defense of biocentric individualism with affinities to both consequentialist and deontological approaches.

For instance, even if HIV has a good of its own this does not mean that we ought to assign any positive moral weight to the realization of that good. More recently, the distinction between these two traditional approaches has taken its own specific form of development in environmental philosophy. Instead of pitting conceptions of value against conceptions of rights, it has been suggested that there may be two different conceptions of intrinsic value in play in discussion about environmental good and evil.