Epistemology And Anthropocentrism

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2.2 Anthropocentrism: The general understanding
Philosophically, anthropocentrism may be understood in epistemological, ontological and ethical positions. In its epistemological sense, anthropocentrism is deemed as a tautology; all human values are human values including the intrinsic value that non-anthropocentrism ascribe to nature. Ontologically, it is the position which distinguishes humanity as being the center of the universe or the ends of creation. Lastly, as an ethical stance, anthropocentrism signifies the explicitly stated assertion that only human beings have intrinsic value whereas non-human entities have instrumental value, and therefore human interests should always be valued over the interests of other entities. It must be noted that the epistemological view of anthropocentrism is often overlooked and sometimes denied in the environmental ethic debates. However, most non-anthropocentrists grant great concern to the ontological and ethical views; since these scholars use and combine these two positions in their critiques of anthropocentrism as well as in their positive non-anthropocentric proposals. But as Tim Hayward (1997) pointed out, ontological and ethical views are not necessarily compatible: This is to say that one can support the ethical anthropocentric position without holding the ontological view, furthermore the criticism of the ontological cannot bear credibility to the criticism of the ethical position.

Sometimes, anthropocentrism is
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