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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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Dichotomy and Distortion: The Mutual Misunderstandings of Social Ecology and Ecocentrism

Dichotomy and Distortion: The Mutual Misunderstandings of Social Ecology and Ecocentrism

Chapter:
(p.86) 3 Dichotomy and Distortion: The Mutual Misunderstandings of Social Ecology and Ecocentrism
Source:
Preservation Versus the People?
Author(s):

Mathew Humphrey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199242674.003.0004

The ecocentric‐anthropocentric dichotomy is explored through the debate between social ecologists and ecocentrists. The critique of ecocentrism that comes from social ecology––that it is a thinly disguised form of misanthropy––is found to be based on a number of misrepresentations and misunderstandings of the ecocentric argument. Similarly, the counter‐critique––which argues that social ecology implies conscious control of the evolutionary process––is found to be similarly misguided. There are multiple ways of being humanist, in the sense in which ecologists use the term, and one can construct humanist arguments from either an ecocentric or anthropocentric starting point.

Keywords:   anthropocentrism, ecocentrism, evolution, humanism, misanthropy, social ecology

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