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For this assignment, please do the following: From the 5 choices below, decide which offers the best ethical approach to understanding the moral status of the environment and our relationship to it. Y

For this assignment, please do the following: From the 5 choices below, decide which offers the best ethical approach to understanding the moral status of the environment and our relationship to it. You must decide which ethic is best if you had to choose. You must explain and critique the 5 approaches to environmental ethics listed below. You can use other articles in the textbook to find critiques of the theories. You can utilize your work on previous assignments. Please read my “Table of the Development of Environmental Ethics” that is on the Assignments Page. 

1. Anthropocentric Ethics (Explain Kant and some interpretations of the Bible)

2. Animal Rights and Welfare (Explain Tom Regan and Peter Singer)

3. Biocentric Ethics (Explain Paul Taylor)

4. Ecocentric Ethics (Explain Aldo Leopold and Callicott)

5. Deep Ecology (Explain Arne Naess’ articles and the article by Bill Devall and George Sessions on Deep Ecology.)

To decide, you should consider these issues:

Do only humans have intrinsic value, and everything else has value only insofar as it affects humans?

Do some animals have intrinsic value? If so, why and which ones?

Do all living individual things have intrinsic value?

Should we go further and include non-living wholes, like ecological systems, or even the whole biosphere of the planet?

Recognize the distinction between valuing living individuals (biocentrism) and wholes like forests, rivers, and mountains (ecocentrism and deep ecology).

What are the basic criteria for having moral value in each of these theories. What are their main principles? Are they good? 

What are the specific arguments of the philosophers? Are they good?

Consider that the best theory should help us confront, recognize, and solve serious environmental problems.


Please use the following format below and instructions for writing your papers (see below). Please make sure that the section headings in bold below are typed into your paper and type underneath each heading. Instructions on what goes under each section are explained in parentheses below. The absolute minimum word count is 1200 words. I won't accept less. You may write as much as you need to do excellent work. Submit the following sheet below. Again, type in your paper all of the headings that appear in bold below. Please do not include any instructions in your paper. Name

Word count:


1. Introduction and Thesis

(In this section, write a brief 100-word introduction to the topic and the theories and give a thesis statement that must appear exactly like it appears below with the blank filled in with the name of the one approach that you will argue for. 

This paper argues that ________ is the best approach to environmental ethics.

You must have this thesis statement in this section.) 

2. Explanation of Views

(In this section, please explain each of the 5 environmental ethics as completely as you can. Use one idea per paragraph. DO NOT put your views and ideas here. Just find and give the significant claims, ideas, principles, and arguments that belong to each of the ethics. Explain completely. Please use paragraphs. You can utilize what you have wrote in other assignments. I expect the explanations to include explanations of the main ideas for each view. Don't quote -- paraphrase and explain using your own words.)

3. Argument for Thesis

(Critically discuss each of the 5 ethical approaches that you explained in section 2. Start with a new paragraph for each theory. You must argue for your thesis. Do not explain the views again. Take each ethical approach one at a time. Critically discuss each one -- consider all of the claims, views, and arguments that you explained in section 2 for each theory. Explain why you agree or disagree with each of the ideas in each theory. You can also use what you have said in previous assignments. You must defend your thesis by considering all 5 of the theories. Ultimately, you must argue for your thesis.)

4. Conclusion

(In this section, restate your thesis and give a brief summary of your views. DO NOT add any new ideas in this section. It should be about 100 words.)

5. Endnotes

(You need this section only if you need to use endnotes to cite information. Plagiarism: You must cite information and ideas that you get from outside of this course. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course. Please do not copy a single word from the Internet or from anywhere else. You don't have to cite the textbook, but say who is saying what. Please think for yourself. Avoid using quotes. Explain things using your own words.

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