What is anti-centrism

Physiocentric arguments


1.1. The pathocentric argument

If one characterizes morality by saying that it has something to do with the same respect for the good life of all (their feelings as well as their purposes), then one can argue that animals too can and have a good life, at least in the sense of sentimental welfare therefore it is not clear why the moral person should only care about the good life of other people and not also about that of animals. Sentient nature would have such a moral intrinsic value that it would have to be protected for its own sake. Even when this is detrimental to mankind, such as foregoing painful medical animal experiments and painful animal husbandry. This argument, put forward by Peter Singer (1979), Tom Regan (1984) and Ursula Wolf (1990), is, however, not without controversy in the literature on animal ethics.

The central objections to the pathocentric argument are for the first one more moral theory Objection (the argument is based on a utilitarian, compassionate or Aristotelian moral understanding, but only the contractual or Kantian moral understanding is tenable - according to this, only contract partners or rational beings have moral status), on the second one language analytical Third, objection (morality is about interests, and interests are tied to the existence of language) anti-egalitarian Objection (equal consideration for animals is inhuman) and fourthly the ' Policing Nature -Objection ’(the argument leads to the absurd consequence that wild prey must be protected from predators).

In response to the "Policing Nature objection", reference should be made to the expected greater human and animal suffering that would result from "Policing Nature". If the anti-egalitarian wants to justify the human-animal hierarchy in a non-speci fi cist manner, that is, not with the mere reference to the species affiliation, then he must fall back on reasons (such as intelligence or moral ability) that already mean hierarchies in the human moral universe, such as hierarchy People - so-called 'human marginal cases' (e.g. severely disabled people, small children or fetuses). Another concept of interest can be set against the concept of interest, which is narrowed by language analysis, according to which a being has an interest in something if this promotes his good life. The moral-theoretical objection can also be refuted without entering the terrain of moral theory, namely by referring to the difficulties which both contractualism and Kantianism have on the grounds of moral respect for the non-contractable and non-reasonable Have human marginal cases.


1.2.
The teleological argument

This argument, put forward primarily by Hans Jonas (1979) in the German-speaking world and by Robin Attfield (1983) and Paul Taylor (1986) in English, attributes purposeful activity or teleology to nature as a whole, or at least to living nature, and calls for the expansion of moral respect for the purposes of man to the purposes of nature. According to this line of argument, not only the killing of animals but also the picking of flowers comes under moral suspicion.

The problem with this argument is the notion of purpose. You can choose between 'Functional' and 'Practical purposes' distinguish. A thermostat, for example, has a functional purpose when it aims at a certain room temperature. The author of this article, for example, pursues a practical purpose when she formulates this distinction and hopes to convince the reader with it. While you care about achieving your purpose, the thermostat - anthropomorphically speaking - 'doesn't care' whether it is achieving its purpose. If nature's so-called purposeful activity is essentially of a functional nature - pathogens are not because they make people and animals sick - then it does not fall within the subject of the subjectively good life that morality wants to protect. Anyone who finds this dogmatic and wants moral protection to be extended to an objectively or functionally good life must realize that by doing so, they also want to put the functional purpose of thermostats, cars and nuclear power plants under moral protection.


1.3.
The holistic argument

Perhaps the most popular argument for the intrinsic value of nature is the reference to the fact that humans are part of nature, that their prosperity goes hand in hand with the prosperity of the whole of nature. Only dualists who oppose humans to nature could play one off against the other. This false western, Christian, male dualistic thinking must be overcome. Then it would become clear that the moral intrinsic worth of man in the Inherent value of nature exists and vice versa. Representatives of this argument are the ' Deep Ecology Movement 'and its pioneers: Arne Naess (1989),' Ökofeminismus', e.g. in Val Plumwood (1994), and the 'Landethik' in the wake of Aldo Leopold, e.g. in J. Baird Callicott (1987), also: Homes Rolston (1988) and Klaus-Micahel Meyer-Abich (1984).

The problem with the holistic argument is that the proposition that humans are part of nature is notoriously ambiguous. If it is only supposed to mean that humans depend on nature for their survival and good life, then it is certainly correct, but then it does not establish any moral intrinsic value of nature, but only anthropocentrically motivated nature conservation. If, on the other hand, the sentence is supposed to mean that the flourishing of the parts consists in the flourishing of the whole, as in a symphony orchestra, then it expresses a false harmonism in the face of AIDS viruses, storm surges, ice ages, etc. and is therefore to be rejected. If the sentence finally wants to abolish the ontological distinction between man and nature, because everything that is, nothing but a knot in the biotic system or a bundle of energy in the cosmic dance of energy - well, then the life-worldly meaningful distinction between beings who feel to act, to take responsibility, and to remind those who cannot. What would our life look like if we had to make do without such distinctions?