BIOCENTRIC (LIFE-CENTERED) ETHICS
- any theory that views all life as possessing intrinsic value. (Regan is not bio-centric
as he does not think all living things have inherent worth.)
- precursor of a biocentric ethics is Albert Schweitzer's "reverence for life"
- an individualistic biocentric ethic recognizes intrinsic value in every
living thing; it seems impossible to have a holistic biocentric ethic, as
species or aggregates of living things are not themselves living (in the usual sense of
that word). However Schweitzer can be interpreted as believing in individual living things
(personal "will-to-lives") and a universal, non-individual
"will-to-live." A looser interpretation might view this as the assertion of an
interdependence of all living things (but then that is valuable because it maintains
- an egalitarian biocentric ethic accords equal value to all living things
(this is Taylor's view). A nonegalitarian ethic would give greater value to certain living
things over others.
- Biocentric ethics represents a significant departure from classical and traditional
- unlike Classical ethics, it focuses on attitudes and character rather than
- unlike traditional ethics, it is nonhierarchical and much more inclusive of the natural
world. It involves a rethinking of the human-nature relationship. Some have thought that
it, and theories like it, should be described as environmental philosophies, rather
than an ethics.