Do Holistic Visions of Nature Enhance Ethical Relations between Man and Environment?

Author: Zbigniew Pietrzak
Year of publication: 2016
Source: Show
Pages: 154-174
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2016.02.12
PDF: kie/112/kie11212.pdf

The visions of the natural world built by man also shape our relationship with respect to the environment. In the present paper I would like to demonstrate how these holistic ideas, like the Gaia Hypothesis, affect ethical relations with nature. Do they enhance the need to treat nature in accordance with ethics, are they ethically neutral, or do they convince us that man has no ethical obligations to the environment whatsoever? “The Gaia Hypothesis” can be ambivalent in this respect, but in the end it leaves no doubt that, even though other species do what man does, Gaia (biosphere) has a limited tolerance for negative effects of human activity. And although we are not able to annihilate the life on the Earth, we are certainly capable of destroying the conditions necessary for our subsistence.

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threat pollution alchemy evolution the Gaia Hypothesis environment/nature ethics

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