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PHL 273 lec 3.docx

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Ingrid L.Stefanovic

PHL 273 lec 3 oct 1  Biocentric ethics o Any theory that views all life as possessing inherent worth o Things are important not b/c theyre useful to us as humans but b/c they have actual value  Someone who was a biocentric person = albert Schweitzer o One of the first scientist to go into Africa and work with poor communities and was famous for being a humanitarian o He opposes scientific view of nature as value-neutral and mechanistic o He seeks to re-establish bond between nature and ethics  Link between knowing what the right thing to do is and knowing how the natural world/env works o Reverence-for-life  “I am human I am a life I am in the midst of other living things and they have a right to live as well”  This is what the main focus of the reverence for life principle is  If we think this way we are less likely to destroy them  He says that preserving life, if to promte life and this is another main focus of his principle  “he accepts as being good; to preserve life, to promote life, to raise to its highest value life which is capable of development; and as being evil: to destroy life, to injure life, to repress life which is capable of development o This is the fundamental principle of the moral o He acknowledge that in our everyday life we step on ants or grass without knowing it but he suggests that we should try to minimizes this.  A different view on ethics o Not a series of ethical rules but a shift in attitude o Not focused on questions what should i do but what type of person should i be o To Albert, we are all moral beings and in as much as were moral beings we have to recognize that as we live as humans it matters and affects other things  Virtue (wanting to change the way your) ethics (knowing how to live right from wrong)  Studying ethics to become a better person  Paul Taylor: respect for nature*** o He’s not a holistic philosopher o Believed with Albert that life in general counts: whether you were human or animal and that we need to take care of all life o He offered a more sophisticate argument for adopting the attitude of respect for nature o All living things have a good of their own: all living things are teleogical-centre-life-of life  Even something like a plant because it seeks water, sun and growths, it moves o Similar to-but different from- Aristotle to the extent that we r talking about individual entities o Biological good vs. Normative claims  Duty to preserve a being’s good ONLY if has a biological good to be promoted  Normative claim needs to be justified by “the biocentric oulook” o Four beliefs: he suggests everyone to have these beliefs and have these assumptions to see what philosophical questions/arguments arise  Humans are members of earth’s community of life in the same way as other living  All species including humans are part of a larger system of ecological interdependence  All living things are teleolgical centers of life  Humans aren’t inherently superior to all other living things  Basically: non anthropocentric but individualistic o Teleogical-centre-of-life is diff from subject of a life o 4 general duties follow if u want to be a good biocentric person  Ex: if u r stuck decidi
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