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One of the most important books during the emergence of environmental philosophy as an academic discipline was Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics by Paul W. Taylor. Published in 1986, the book is considered the primary reference supporting a biocentric viewpoint in environmental ethics. Biocentrism in general prioritizes individuals in nature, including humans, but does not assign humans higher priority. This approach is opposed to anthropocentrism, which focuses on human benefit, and ecocentrism, which enlarges concern to include the nonliving elements of ecosystems and focuses on species preservation over the welfare of the individual members of those species. Taylor's book came at a time when environmental philosophy was a new subdiscipline heavily scrutinized by mainstream philosophers. Thus the philosophical rigor Taylor used to ...

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