Environmental Ethics

Volume 34, Issue 1, Spring 2012

Christian Diehm
Pages 51-66

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.