What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 579 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 579|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Ethics and Environmental Concern
  3. The Discipline of Environmental Ethics
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited


In the past years, an unprecedented economic growth resulted in uncontrollable degradation of our natural resources. Currently, there are two moral postures being raised to tackle this issue. One takes an earth-centered approach, valuing nature for its own sake (Ecocentric), while the other is a human-centered approach, valuing nature because of material or physical benefits it can provide to humans (Anthropocentric). What I learned in the ethics class was the new vocabulary (DR433F). I have taken several ethics courses during my undergraduate years, but most of the courses only focused on human society in connection with religion.

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Ethics and Environmental Concern

I grew up in a country where ethics about animals and environment is not prioritized or sometimes neglected. Philippines is a developing country with most of its GDP sourced from agricultural and natural products. It is quite ironic how an agricultural nation does not put emphasis on ethical issues governing animals and natural resources. The big question is, as a negligent of these ideas and as a recently educated student about anthropocentrism and ecocentrism, did it influence my approaches in scientific research and pursuit? Will I use this knowledge to my current research? This paper will focus on highlighting some facts about what I have learned during class and some personal opinions about ecocentrism and anthropocentrism applied in scientific research.

The Discipline of Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics is a discipline in philosophy which tackles the moral relationship of human beings to and the value of moral status to the environment and other non-human constituents. This discipline includes: (1) challenge of environmental ethics to anthropocentrism; and (2) the preservation of biodiversity as an ethical goal. There are several challenges of environmental ethics. For example, how will you determine if it is morally permissible to kill individuals of overpopulated indigenous species to protect the integrity of a certain ecosystem? Should humans interfere with the said natural process of selection? Or should we just let them be and instead focus on the greater good of the environment or any living and non-living organism?

And does the value of the ecosystem differ if it was restored or if it was preserved on its natural form? If we restore something can it be anthropocentric given that it will benefit both the humans and non-human beings? It is often said that destroying, polluting, or consuming large portion of our natural environment is morally wrong for human beings. If that action is wrong, is it because we only wanted what is sustainable for both humans and non-humans alike? Or such behavior is wrong because the natural environment has certain values in their own right that needs to be respected and protected in any case? These are just some of the questions that I often think about when I analyze and decide between whether it is better to be more anthropocentric or ecocentric in our current society and as a scientist. The answers to these questions will depend on whether you are an individual (i.e. scientist, student, teacher, doctors, etc.), or part of a collective group (i.e. country, religion, political affinity, etc.) where some of the questions are addressed at the community or global scale.

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One thing is for sure, there is no absolute correct way (anthropocentric or ecocentric) on how utilize or preserve nature. I believe that it is a matter of balance and compromise between the two schools of thought. 

Works Cited

  1. De La Cruz, R. A. 'Ecological and Interspecies Ethics'.
  2. Regan, T. (1983). The Case for Animal Rights. University of California Press.
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What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
What I Learned in Ethics Class: Environmental Ethics [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 May 29]. Available from:
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