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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines key ideas associated with ethical biocentrism. It distinguishes between forms of ethical biocentrism in terms of whether they adopt an egalitarian or inegalitarian approach to value; whether they are value monistic or pluralistic; and whether they adopt virtue, consequentialist, or deontological approaches to ethical theory. Drawing in particular on the work of Robin Attfield and Paul Taylor, the chapter then explores how different forms of ethical biocentrism interpret and respond to anthropogenic climate change. Biocentric ethicists have moved beyond many people’s intuitive sense that “life matters” to construct complex, diverse ethical systems that focus on the value of living individuals. These ethical systems must develop still further to respond coherently to growing human environmental impacts.

Keywords: biocentrism, ethics, climate change, Robin Attfield, Paul Taylor, living individuals

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