Volume 23, 2008
Philosophy of Environment
Rethinking Environmental Ethics
A Case for Holism
The paper discusses the critical need for ethical rethinking in relation to the environmental crisis in contemporary world. Beyond the present diversified perspectives in environmental ethical discourse (Anthropocentrism, Animal liberation/rights theory, Biocentrism and Ecocentrism), the paper makes a strong case for holism. The paper argues that while each of these schools of thought in environmental ethics has significant relevance and contributions to make, considered separately, they are for the most part, insufficient and inadequate toward revamping and protecting the world environment from further deterioration. As a consequence, the paper establishes that only a Holistic Environmental Ethics that synergistically adapts, integrates and encompasses the positive aspects of these four environmental ethical theories in a holistic whole is promising in challenging the environmental crisis.