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Why should any society take the decision to devote scarce resources, as a matter of public policy, to preserving natural objects? This is one of the questions considered in the field of environmental ethics, and the thinking that has taken place in this discipline has been dominated by the 'ecocentric-anthropocentric' distinction. Answers focus on either 'intrinsic values in nature', or on the human welfare benefits that will accrue from preservationist policies. These two answers are generally taken to be both mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Ecocentric writers believe that their preferred environmental ethic transcends anthropocentrism, whilst those who cleave to a more 'ecological humanist' position, view the turn to ecocentrism as at best an unnecessary diversion or at worst as a thinly disguised expression of misanthropy.
1. The Foundations of Ecocentrism
2. The Human Need for Nature
3. Dichotomy and Distortion: The Mutual Misunderstandings of Social Ecology and Ecocentrism
4. New Marx for Old? Marxism, Humanity, and Ecology