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Preservation Versus the People?Nature, Humanity, and Political Philosophy$
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Mathew Humphrey

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199242674.001.0001

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The Human Need for Nature

The Human Need for Nature

(p.52) 2 The Human Need for Nature
Preservation Versus the People?

Mathew Humphrey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses an aspect of ecocentric thought that has to date been somewhat neglected, its account of human welfare and human needs. Ecocentrists argue that our understanding of human needs requires ‘restructuring’ in an ecologically informed way. In particular, we have to recognize a human need for contact with ‘free’ nature. This argument is supported by two versions of the ‘co‐evolution hypothesis’. This argument is found to offer, at best, only weak reasons for a policy of nature preservation.

Keywords:   co‐evolution, ecocentrism, nature, needs, welfare

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