Different Theories Of Ecological Ethics Essay

1857 words - 7 pages

All three theories by Heidegger, Bookchin, and Naess are based on the normative assumption: humans perceived themselves as being distinct from a world that unites both humans and non-humans. To better understand the distinguishments that each author makes in his theory, I will reconstruct each of their assumption. After that, we will explore the rational fashioning of integrative ways and the problems that it raises. In conclusion, there may be a reiteration of the assumption in our effort to act ethically according to the ecosystem.

Heidegger’s theory orbits around the idea that humans are mortal stewards of things on the earth. He believes that humans should consider and respect non-human life forms as part of this comprehensive world in all dimensions of earth, sky, divinities, and their roles in their relative locations. In the same manner, non-humans share an undiscriminating relationship closely knit together in a network by their functions and bestowals. Because of this proximity, human’s stewardship should not promote egocentricity or superiority over non-human items. This responsibility does not seek selfish coercion, but deferential regards to such items in order to bring forth diversity and life. His assumption here implies that humans are like tenants responsible to take care of the rest of the earth as a shared home for all living things. Along with this heuristic, Heidegger supports the saving, preserving, dwelling, building, and integrating of our daily lives with respect to the whole earth.

Similarly, Bookchin believes in a respectful co-evolving community of life on earth. His theory of social ecology characterized humans as citizens of a community. Although he does not press on equality like Naess does in his theory, Bookchin suggests that all life forms in its own unique and intrinsic ways, including us, are mutually supported by each other. Opposed to the antagonistic point of view, he promotes the idea of symbiosis and criticizes the distinction in which we often place on humans and non-humans. Instead of making distinctions, he suggests that we consider how we can relate and behave in respect to others. Provided that, there are consequences for the kinds of values we choose and how we respond to those values in light of self-realization. (The concept of self-realization will be revisited during the reconstruction of Naess’s theory later on in this paper.) Because Bookchin sees life in an evolutionary perspective, life to him is self relying having a tendency towards increasing differentiation as a form of self-preservation. In addition, our own development does not distinguish us from others’ development for the reason that other elements also involve in the development of other individuals. Therefore, we should be modest and integrate all things into an unrestricted and equal association, as in a society or an organization. This integration is an act of assumption that humans are different from the rest of the...

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