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International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics$
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Alexander Gillespie

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713456.001.0001

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Self Interest

Self Interest

Chapter:
(p.14) III Self Interest
Source:
International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics
Author(s):

Alexander Gillespie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713456.003.0003

This chapter looks at the self-interest argument in the field of environmental protection and environmental policy and law in the international setting. The axiom of self interest, commonly associated with economics, now covers many other disciplines. The idea that the pursuit of self interest will bring conservation benefits for all is not unusual within environmental thinking. However, there are a number of problems with this view. The perceived self interest is more in terms of direct benefits, such as those related to mental and/or physical well-being. Areas of the environment are protected, or pollution is avoided, because a certain action has a direct benefit on humanity.

Keywords:   environmental protection, environmental thinking, direct benefits, mental well-being, physical well-being, pollution, ecosystems

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