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Ecocentrism

  • By: Mark Woods
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Sometimes called dark green or deep ecological ethics, ecocentrism is the core of a number of environmental positions focused on protecting holistic natural entities such as species, ecosystems, and landscapes. Ecocentrism uses insights from the science of ecology to locate value within ecological entities, processes, and relationships and represents an alternative to an anthropocentric or human-centered ethic of the environment.

At the end of the classic environmental text A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold claims that actions are right insofar as they have a tendency to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of biotic communities. Leopold also talks about the value of respecting and protecting species, particular places, wild predation, evolutionary history, ecological energy circuits, wilderness areas, and land health. The land ethic he develops ...

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