The environment and natural rights
Osigwe, Uchenna W.
The argument advanced is this thesis is that the entities that make up the environment are those that do not owe their origin to any willful creative activity but have evolved through accidental natural processes. This fact of not being willfully created makes the environment ontologically independent and confers on it intrinsic value as opposed to instrumental value. This intrinsic value is one that all the entities that make up the environment share. It is further argued that this intrinsic value is aesthetic rather than moral. Only beings that are specially endowed with certain capacities, like reflection and understanding, could be said, in the context of this work, to have intrinsic moral value in the sense of being moral agents. But as moral agents, we need to give moral considerability to all the natural entities in the environment since they share the same natural right with us, based on our common origin. So, even though the nonhuman, natural entities in the environment do not have moral rights, they have natural rights. It is further argued that this natural right could be best safeguarded in a legal framework.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorHowe, Leslie A.
CommitteeReed, Maureen; O'Hagan, Emer; Hudson, Robert G.; Dwyer, Philip
Copyright DateNovember 2004
ethic of the environment
the ontological independence of the environment
the intrinsic aesthetic value of the environment
the Igbo traditional attitude to the environment
dualistic attitude regarding the environment
Buddhism and Christianity and their attitudes to
the dominance of Christian dogmatic attitude to t
independent and accidental natural processes
conceptlessness of the aesthetic value of nature
the theory of creation ex nihilo
the purposelessness of the environment
Intrinsic and instrumental values
natural objects and artifacts
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