Volume 34, Issue 1, Spring 2012
Biophilia and Biodiversity
Environmental Ethics in the Work of Stephen R. Kellert
Although Stephen R. Kellert critiques both nonanthropocentric and narrowly anthropocentric approaches to environmental ethics, and proposes instead a broadly anthropocentric position that relies on a distinctive version of the biophilia hypothesis, his portrayal of his position as anthropocentric exposes his work to some common criticisms of human-centered views. However, the version of the biophilia hypothesis that Kellert advocates actually supports a nonanthropocentric environmental ethic, and his example of a shift in public attitudes toward marine mammals can be used to demonstrate how his position would benefit from affirming the noninstrumentalist attitudes that are implicit within it.