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Naturalism and Environmentalism: A Reply to Hinchman

Brian H. Baxter

Environmental Values 15(2006): 51-68. doi: 10.3197/096327106776678933


The values which are definitive of the humanist project, such as freedom and self-determination, are of central concern to environmentalism. This means, according to Lewis P. Hinchman, that environmentalists should seek a rapprochement with humanism, rather than rejecting it for its apparent anthropocentrism. He argues that this requires in turn the acceptance of those approaches to human self-understanding which are central to the hermeneutic traditions and the rejection of naturalist approaches, such as sociobiology, which is accused of producing deterministic, reifying, reductionist, dehumanising forms of understanding of human beings and human life. This paper seeks to show that sociobiology does not pose the kinds of threat to humanism and environmentalism outlined by Hinchman.

KEYWORDS: Humanism, sociobiology, naturalism, reductionism, environmental ethics

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Is Environmentalism a Humanism? Lewis P. Hinchman

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