Omgewingsetiek ten gunste van natuur én mens?


Environmental ethics: a case for nature and man? This article outlines three approaches to the relationship between man and the environment. An anthropocentric environmental ethics of dominion over and exploitation of the environment is contrasted to a nature-centred environmental ethics that reduces man's interests to that of nature. The alternative to an anthropocentric ethos, with its slogan of ‘man/mind over nature/matter’, is however, not to be found in an ecocentric ethos defending the opposite case of subordinating man and his cultural values to the holiness of environment. A third approach can be called the ethos of responsible stewardship attempting to reconcile the interests of human society with that of the environment. Some implications of the theses 'man is a steward, not the owner of the earth’ and ‘man is an irreducible complement to, not an extension of the earth’ and ‘natural things also have a moral dimension’ are investigated. This investigation results in a broadening of the boundaries of morality for the benefit to the environment. To reconcile the interests of man and nature, the new ethics will i.a. have to extend man's responsibility beyond his fellowmen and his societal institutions to his fellow creatures. Without man, nature’s inherent identity cannot be detected and nurtured but without nature, man cannot become a moral being.

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