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Facts About Natural Values


  • Robert Elliot


Some environmental philosophers believe that the rejection of anthropocentric ethics requires the development and defence of an objectivist meta-ethical theory according to which values are, in the most literal sense, discovered not conferred. It is argued that nothing of normative or motivational import, however, turns on the meta-ethical issue. It is also argued that a rejection of normative anthropocentrism is completely consistent with meta-ethical subjectivism. Moreover the dynamics and outcomes of rational debate about normative environmental ethics are not determined by any particular choice between meta-ethical subjectivism and objectivism. These different meta-ethical views sustain analogous moves in normative debate, although they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these moves. They also provide for analogous links between moral 'belief' and motivation, although again they offer rather different accounts of what underlies these links. In the course of defending these conclusions a subjectivist account of intrinsic value is developed and defended.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Elliot, 1996. "Facts About Natural Values," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 5(3), pages 221-234, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev5:ev511

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herman E. Daly, 1972. "In Defense of a Steady-State Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 54(5), pages 945-954.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:74-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Viviana Asara & Emanuele Profumi & Giorgos Kallis, 2013. "Degrowth, Democracy and Autonomy," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(2), pages 217-239, April.
    4. Elizabeth Shove, 2010. "Beyond the ABC: Climate Change Policy and Theories of Social Change," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 42(6), pages 1273-1285, June.
    5. Ulrich Brand, 2016. "How to Get Out of the Multiple Crisis? Contours of a Critical Theory of Social-Ecological Transformation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 25(5), pages 503-525, October.
    6. Clive L. Spash, 2015. "The Future Post-Growth Society," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(2), pages 366-380, March.
    7. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
    8. Elizabeth Shove, 2010. "Beyond the ABC: climate change policy and theories of social change," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(6), pages 1273-1285, June.
    9. repec:env:journl:ev25:editev253 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Scott Cameron Lougheed & Myra J. Hird & Kerry R. Rowe, 2016. "Governing Household Waste Management: An Empirical Analysis and Critique," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 25(3), pages 287-308, June.
    11. Peter Ferguson, 2016. "Liberalism and Economic Growth: A Theoretical Exploration," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 25(5), pages 593-619, October.
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    More about this item


    Anthropocentrism; environmental ethics; meta-ethics; value-theory;

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects


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