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Environmental ethics is the study of the moral relations between human beings and their natural environment. Environmental ethics assumes that moral norms can and do govern human behavior toward the natural world. A theory of environmental ethics therefore seeks to provide a systematic account of such norms by explaining to whom, or to what, humans have responsibilities and how these responsibilities are justified.

Some approaches to environmental ethics argue that human responsibilities regarding the natural environment are only indirect. Anthropocentric (human centered) environmental ethics holds that only human beings have moral value. Thus, although we might have responsibilities regarding the natural world, we do not have direct responsibilities to the natural world. Anthropocentric environmental ethics typically involves the application of standard ethical principles to environmental problems. ...

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