PHIL_Biocentrism review .docx - Biocentrism ● ● ● ● All living things count morally Is the biocentic outlook absurd ○ On a planet with tens of

PHIL_Biocentrism review .docx - Biocentrism ● ● ● ●...

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Biocentrism - All living things count morally Is the biocentic outlook absurd? On a planet with tens of millions of species and countless trillions of living organisms, among them animals, plants, and microbes that pose serious threats to human safety and health, is it absurd to claim that all of them should be regarded as morally considerable in their own right? Acknowledgement of the moral standing of a non-human organism is not a claim that harm to the entity in question is never morally justified; it is, rather, a claim that the question of the moral justifiability of the harm in question is a relevant moral question. The biocentrist, Paul Taylor, presents principles for deciding whether or not human-inflicted harm on non-human life is morally justifiable. Biocentric Criterion on moral standing: Capacity to self actualize Self-actualization is variously characterized as the capacity of organisms to exhibit teleological (purposeful, goal-oriented) growth and development; to progress developmentally toward end states; to realize biological (genetic) potential; to exhibit self-sustaining organization and integration in the face of pressures toward high entropy; to be valuable in these ways. Self-actualization is a value inherent in all living beings; it is a valuational process intrinsic to the nature of all living beings. Self-actualization constitute the good of living organisms. Holmes Rolston on Natural Value Those who contemplate life’s epic story on this special planet cannot but recognize that evolving life is creative and has produced a vast profusion of life forms in ever-increasing levels of diversity, complexity, organization, and intelligence. Value permeates nature; it is found in animals and plants, their genomic kinds, and in ecosystems. The telling of life’s remarkable story reveals non-human value, but the telling does not create the value; it is already there, awaiting human telling Do Geonomes Count too? Are species discrete biological entities which moral standing can be reasonably ascribed? No, a species is simply a name given to individuals observed to exhibit certian common characteristics Paul Taylor: “Species are simply labels used in biological classification.” Charles Darwin: “I look at the term species, as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of individuals closely resembling each other.” A. B. Shaw: “The species concept is entirely arbitrary and subjective.” A species is no more real than a family, a genus, a phylum, a kingdom, or any other higher-order biological classification.
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  • Winter '18
  • AlbertB.Crawford

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