Environmental Ethics

Volume 5, Issue 3, Fall 1983

Paul W. Taylor
Pages 237-243

In Defense of Biocentrism

Gene Spitler has raised certain objections to my views on the biocentric outlook: (1) that a factual error is involved in the assertion that organisms pursue their own good, (2) that there is an inconsistency in the biocentric outlook, (3) that it is impossible for anyone to adopt that outlook, and (4) that the outlook entails unacceptable moral judgments, for example, that killing insects and wildfiowers is as morally reprehensible as killing humans. I reply to each of these points, showing that the biocentric outlook on nature is not only a possible, but also a reasonable world view.