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Basic Issues and Schools of Thought in Environmental Ethics

By Nicholas U. Asogwa

Summary

INTRODUCTION
The deluge of environmental problems facing the world today has made it imperative that we re-examine our relationship with the environment, especially as most of these environmental problems are caused by human beings. The environmental system has continued to deteriorate owing to what many believe to be the result of over-exploitation of nature.
Many would readily argue that much as man’s activities towards the environment have the survival and well-being of humans as the driving force, the environment and its non-human contents have a value of their own that needs to be upheld. It is the realization of the truism in this assertion that led to the emergence of different pro-nature or environment groups with the primary aim of conscientizing the public on the possibilities and the urgent need for establishing an ethical/morally-based relationship with the natural environment.
This paper, therefore, is an exposition and appraisal of some key issues and systems/schools of thought in environmental ethics with the aim of laying bare the latent implications of these varying schools of thought vis-à-vis man and the environment. It also demonstrates that irrespective of the use the environment and its non-human contents can be to man; there is the need and the possibility of developing an ethical-based relationship with the environment.
Basic Issues and Schools of Thought in Environmental Ethics
 
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