The transformative value of ecological pragmatism: an introduction to the work of Bryan G. Norton
18 Jun 2008
Académie de Dijon, France
Abstract. In the space of only a few years, Bryan Norton has become one of the essential actors of environmental ethics through his launching of what has become one of its dominant trends: environmental pragmatism. Environmental pragmatism refuses to take a stance in the dispute between the defenders of anthropocentrist ethics and the supporters of nonanthropocentrist ethics. Instead, Norton prefers to distinguish between "strong anthropocentrism'' and "weak- or extended- anthropocentrism'' and develops the idea that only the latter is capable of not under-estimating the diversity of instrumental values that humans may derive from the natural world. The practical difference between these two kinds of theories is considerable.