Anthropocentrism is the belief that human beings are the most important entity in the universe. Anthropocentrism interprets or regards the world in terms of human values and experiences. The term can be used interchangeably with humanocentrism, and some refer to the concept as human supremacy or human exceptionalism. Anthropocentrism is considered to be profoundly embedded in many modern human cultures and conscious acts. It is a major concept in the field of environmental ethics and environmental philosophy, where it is often considered to be the root cause of problems created by human action within the ecosphere. However, many proponents of anthropocentrism state that this is not necessarily the case: they argue that a sound long-term view acknowledges that a healthy, sustainable environment is necessary for humans and that the real issue is shallow anthropocentrism.

Judeo-Christian tradition
Maimonides, a scholar of the Torah who lived in the 12th century AD, was noted for being decidedly anti-anthropocentric. Maimonides called man “a mere ‘drop of the bucket'” and “not ‘the axle of the world'”. He also claimed that anthropocentric thinking is what causes humans to think that evil things exist in nature. According to Rabbi Norman Lamm, Maimonides “thus deflate[d] man’s extravagant notions of his own importance and urge[d] us to abandon these illusions.”
In the 1985 CBC series “A Planet For the Taking”, Dr. David Suzuki explored the Old Testament roots of anthropocentrism and how it shaped our view of non-human animals. Some Christian proponents of anthropocentrism base their belief on the Bible, such as the verse 1:26 in the Book of Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The use of the word “dominion” in the Genesis is controversial. Many Biblical scholars, especially Roman Catholic and other non-Protestant Christians, consider this to be a flawed translation of a word meaning “stewardship”, which would indicate that mankind should take care of the earth and its various forms of life.

Human rights
Anthropocentrism is the grounding for some naturalistic concepts of human rights. Defenders of anthropocentrism argue that it is the necessary fundamental premise to defend universal human rights, since what matters morally is simply being human. For example, noted philosopher Mortimer J. Adler wrote, “Those who oppose injurious discrimination on the moral ground that all human beings, being equal in their humanity, should be treated equally in all those respects that concern their common humanity, would have no solid basis in fact to support their normative principle.” Adler is stating here, that denying what is now called human exceptionalism could lead to tyranny, writing that if we ever came to believe that humans do not possess a unique moral status, the intellectual foundation of our liberties collapses: “Why, then, should not groups of superior men be able to justify their enslavement, exploitation, or even genocide of inferior human groups on factual and moral grounds akin to those we now rely on to justify our treatment of the animals we harness as beasts of burden, that we butcher for food and clothing, or that we destroy as disease-bearing pests or as dangerous predators?”

5 thoughts on “Wikipedia

  1. shinichi Post author




    自然環境は人間が利用するための存在である、もしくは人間がもっとも進化した存在であるという人間中心主義 (anthropocentrism) は、一般に環境倫理学などの観点から非難された信念であるが、人権思想や人道的立場などから社会工学的信条を批判するためのヒューマニズムの訳語として使われる文脈が存在する。しかしここでは前者についての説明を行う。






  2. shinichi Post author


    by 渋山 昌雄

    第一章 人間中心主義と生命中心主義
    第二章 人権から人間の尊厳へ
    第三章 生命倫理と人間の尊厳
    第四章 環境倫理・教育倫理と人間の尊厳
    第五章 「人間であること」は本当に重要ではないのか ?
    第六章 科学技術・情報と倫理
    第七章 死生観と教育
    第八章 円熟した教育者(人間)の基本的態度

  3. shinichi Post author


    by 浜渦辰二


  4. shinichi Post author


    by 中川敏

    2.1 人間中心主義 vs 反人間中心主義

    ライトが最初にとりあげる論争は、 人間中心主義を巡る論争である。 人間中心主義に対する、 この領域(環境の倫理学)のもっとも初期の哲学者の論考にすでに 多くあらわれている。 シンガーの論文のタイトル、 「すべての動物は平等である」 [singer-animals]は この立場を象徴的に表しているだろう。 倫理の体系の中で、人間という種のみを特別に扱う なんら論理的な根拠はない、というのがシンガーらの主張である。 人間を特別扱いする立場、すなわち、 「人間中心主義」を、しばしばシンガーは “speciesm” と呼び (“racism” を非難するのと同じやり方で)非難をする。 もう一人の初期から活躍する環境倫理学者、ラウトリーは、 「人間中心主義」を “human chauvinism” と呼び、 (“male chauvinism” を非難するのと同じやりかたで)非難する。 “Human chauvinism” とは 「価値と道徳とは、ひっきょう、 人間というクラスの関心と興味という問題に還元される」 という主張である。

    反人間中心主義は、 いま現在、この領域で、この主張について疑義を呈することは、 ほとんど考えられないほどである、という。 「ドグマ」なのだ。


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.