MODERN ROOTS OF ECOCENTRISM
Chapter 3 emphasised the need to set changing attitudes to nature within the context of what people were actually doing to it. It described how capitalism’s exploitation of nature supported, and was supported by, exploitative attitudes inherent in the scientific world view. But it also noted how, by the seventeenth century, any ideas of unbridled exploitation of nature were already being tempered. Forest and fen destruction were well advanced and the need to manage what was left in the interests of sustainable, rational exploitation, was becoming accepted. Out of this need developed an important strand in what was to become the modern science, and moral philosophy, of ecology-a strand emphasising conservation as a management strategy.