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Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics is the study of the ethical relations between human beings and their natural environment. Environmental ethics assumes that ethical 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, the range and scope of those 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 people might have responsibilities regarding the natural world, they do not have direct responsibilities to the natural world. Anthropocentric environmental ethics typically involves the application ...

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