chapter  4
Main approaches to environmental ethics
WithKees Vromans, Rainer Paslack
Pages 24

On completing this lesson, the reader will understand: how the anthropocentric view of environmental ethics is philosophically founded, that the anthropocentric approach to environmental ethics not only encompasses instrumental values, but also aesthetic and contemplative values. Environmental ethics emerged as a new sub-discipline of philosophy in the early 1970s. Until that time philosophy had been questioning human actions towards human beings. Actions towards nature were dealt with in an anthropocentric way. An anthropocentric ethics has to claim that we have obligations to respect the environment for the sake of human well-being and prosperity in the present and in the future. Moreover, it is evident that the actions and policies that we contemporary humans undertake will have a great impact on the well-being of future individuals. In environmental ethics the discussion on the difference between humans and other beings is relevant.