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Anthropocentrism Kritik

Thesis: The affirmative proposal is locked into the old “human centered” paradigm that is
unjustified, ineffective and a threat to our, and all, survival. We must escape these
assumptions to allow change to occur

A) Link
Maintaining current worldview threatens humanity in multiple ways
Fritjor Capra, Philosopher, 1995 (Deep Ecology in the 21st Century)

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that the major problems of our time cannot be
understood in isolation. The threat of nuclear war, the devastation of our natural
environment, the persistence of poverty along with progress even in the richest countries
– these are not isolated problems. They are different facets of one single crisis, which is
essentially a crisis of perception. The crisis derives from the fact that most of us and
especially our large social institutions subscribe to the concepts and values of an outdated
worldview, which is inadequate for dealing with the problems of our overpopulated,
globally interconnected world.”

B) Implications
Technocentrism Fails
Thomas N. Gladwin et al., Director of the Global Environment Program at Louis Stern
School of Business, 1995 (Academy of Management Review, October)

“In summary, technocentrism fails, in our view, the litmus tests of sustainability. It
pathologically disassociates or represses many critical components bearing upon life
support systems. It fractures or severs the connections that sustainability requires. It fails
to deal adequately with intergenerational, intragenerational, and interspecies equality. It
hubristically places as extremely large and risky wager on the future. Finally, although it
produces material wealth and power for a privileged minority, it gives rise to risks and
imbalances that threaten the future of the entire human community. If society does indeed
adapt sustainable development as a fundamental organizing principle, then the dominant
paradigm of technocentrism will clearly become a paradigm for crisis. From a dialectical
perspective, technocentrism contains profound contradictions. These inconsistencies are
simultaneously paradigm destructive and paradigm reconstructive, and thus they are
conductive to reexamination.”
C) Alternative
Rejecting the assumptions of the Affirmative and allowing alternative visions to
emerge is key to allowing change
Bill Devall, Dept. Of Sociology at Humboldt University, 1988
“Many contemporary philosophers have explored other approaches to nature and the
implication of these images for our current crisis. These images include Eastern
Traditions of Taoism and Buddhism and Native American religion and cosmologies.
Exploration of these and other images of nature are extremely important to the
development of the deep ecology movement. As McLaughlin says, “Alternative images
of nature are a sort of internal wilderness, whose cultivation may be helpful in retaining
and eventually expanding external wilderness. Considering alternatives may help loosen
the spell of instrumental view, showing it as only one of the many possibilities, giving a
deeper vision of the world, as two eyes enable the vision of depth.” Practicing deep
ecology mean, in part, experiencing both intellectually and emotionally some of these
alternative approaches to nature.”
(__) Environmental policies assume a human centered system of values
Wapner,1996 (Paul, “Toward a Meaningful Ecological Politics,” Tikkun,

“Yet reasonableness and genuine environmental protection are different

things. Liberal environmentalism is so compatible with contemporary
material and cultural currents that it implicitly supports the very things that it
should be criticizing. Its technocratic, scientistic, and even economicistic
character give credence to a society that measures the quality of life
fundamentally in terms of economic growth, control over nature, and the
maximization of sheer efficiency in everything we do. By working to show
that environmental protection need not compromise these maxims, liberal
environmentalism fails to raise deeper issues that more fundamentally
engage the dynamics of environmental degradation. Liberal
environmentalism is unconcerned with reflecting upon who we are, our
place in the global ecosystem, and our relationship with other species who
also inhabit the earth – issues that strike at the core of a genuinely ecological
(__) Technological growth has hurt non-human forms of life
Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian
National University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of
New England. “Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian
Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No 4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

Moral philosophy aims to provide a rational critique or justification of the

principles which guide or govern human conduct. In this inquiry it is of
course assumed that these principles are accessible to reason. Human
activity, particularly when amplified by sophisticated science-based
technologies, now extends far beyond the stone age boundaries which
constrained our actions for most of human history. The chain saw and the
drift net have transformed biological systems far more rapidly and violently
than the neolithic axe and spear. The rapid and accelerating technologically-
driven modification of our natural surroundings has changed them beyond
the wildest neolithic dreams. It is these changes which have prompted the
question whether constraints on human conduct should take into
consideration more than purely human interests.

Environmental philosophers have proposed a critique of traditional Western

moral thought, which, it is alleged, is deficient for providing a satisfactory
ethic of obligation and concern for the nonhuman world. This concern, it is
claimed, needs to be extended, in particular, toward nonhuman individuals,
wilderness areas, and across time and species. The project of extending our
concern in the latter two cases—over time and over species—is a central
concern of this paper.
Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian
National University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of
New England. “Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian
Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No 4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

There are several very plausible elements in the concerns of deep ecology.
First, there is the worry about the effects of unconstrained human
interference in natural systems impoverishing and degrading them. Human
interference and human action is often contrasted with the wisdom of natural
cycles and natural development. Contrast the violence of a strip-mined
hillside, or a clear-felled forest with the tranquil majesty of a climax
ecosystem such as a tropical rain forest or a coral reef. "Nature knows best",
it is said.

A second worry focuses on the way that we tend to treat humans and human
activity in isolation from, rather than as a part of nature. This is often
characterized as an atomistic conception of humans as discrete and separate
interacting units, in contrast to the holistic organic conception of organisms
as nodes in complex biotic webs. The sharp separation between humanity
and nature is said to be one of the characteristic deficiencies of shallow
thought, which is often accompanied by the denial that the nonhuman world
possesses intrinsic value.
A/T: Technology Saves life
1) When they say that the technology they are protecting can be used to save non-human
life, they are really just linking even harder to the kritik. Life has gone on for billions
of years, life will go on without man’s help

Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian National

University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of New England.
“Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No
4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)
If the concerns for humanity and nonhuman species raised by advocates of deep ecology
are expressed as concerns about the fate of the planet, then these concerns are misplaced.
From a planetary perspective, we may be entering a phase of mass extinction of the
magnitude of the Cretaceous. For planet earth that is just another incident in a four and a
half billion year saga. Life will go on—in some guise or other. The arthropods, algae and
the ubiquitous bacteria, at least, will almost certainly be around for a few billion years

2) The technology that they are claiming was still designed for human ends- and the
production of such certainly resulted in environmental degradation.

3) Judge, don’t let them try to use their anthropocentric rhetoric to trick you- technology
has and always will be for human ends, with little regard to the environment. Pull
across and cross apply the subpoint B from the shell that talks about the flaws of

4) They cannot solve for the kritik. The case is too far rooted in the anthropocentric
mindset to promote deep ecology, kritik is the best option in the round.
(__) Every time that they say that they can save a life, human or nonhuman, they bite the
kritik one more time- their logic is so far rooted in anthropocentrism that they have been
blinded to the realization that extinctions do occur- the aff should stop trying to play God.

Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian National

University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of New England.
“Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No
4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

Robert Goodin has proposed a "moderately deep" theory of value, according to which
what imparts value to an outcome is the naturalness of the historical process through
which it has come about (Goodin 1991, p. 74). Putting aside the problem, mentioned
above, that the distinction between what is natural and what is cultural (or technological,
or artefactual) is problematic, the deliverances of natural historical processes are not
necessarily benign, nor ones which should command our approval. The traumatic
disruptions to the planet brought about by natural forces far exceed anything which we
have been able to effect. Consider, first, what Lovelock (1979) has called the worst
atmospheric pollution incident ever: the accumulation of that toxic and corrosive gas
oxygen some two billion years ago, with devastating consequences for the then
predominant anaerobic life forms. Or the Cretaceous extinction 65 million years ago,
which wiped out the large reptiles, the then dominant life forms. Or the Permian
extinction some 225 million years ago, which eliminated an estimated 96 per cent of
marine species. Like the eruption of Mt St Helens, these were natural events, but it is
implausible to suppose that they are to be valued for that reason alone.
There is of course an excellent reason for us to retrospectively evaluate these great
planetary disruptions positively from our current position in planetary history, and that is
that we can recognise their occurrence as a necessary condition for our own existence.
But what could be more anthropocentric than that?
(__) Technology and anthropocentrism together prevent evolution
Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian
National University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of
New England. “Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian
Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No 4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

Suppose that astronomers detect a modest asteroid or comet, say five or ten
kilometres diameter, on collision course with planet Earth [8]. The
impending collision would be perfectly natural all right, and cataclysmic
enough to do to us what another one rather like it probably did to the
dinosaurs. Such periodic disruptive events are natural all right, though they
probably destroy most of the then extant large life forms. These times of
renewal provide opportunities for smaller, flexible organisms to radiate
opportunistically into vacated niches, and life goes on. From a biocentric or
ecocentric perspective there is little doubt that our demise would provide
comparable opportunities for development which we currently prevent.
Should we, in such circumstances, step aside so that evolution can continue
on its majestic course? I think not, and I think further that interference with
the natural course of events, if it could be effected, would be no bad thing—
at least from our point of view and in terms of our interests, which it is quite
legitimate to promote and favour.
1) Fine, Grant them this. We are totally conceding this point. When we defend our loved
ones or are moved more by human suffering than the suffering of other beings, we are
acting as descendants, parents, friends, lovers, etc.- and being anthropocentric, but
this form is OK

2) They are embodying a flawed form of anthropocentrism- they are evaluating the
world through a “human first!” point of view- THIS is flawed.

3) X-apply their argument to prove again that there are alternatives to the kritik, and that
kritik solves case because it keeps anthropocentrism, but not the human first
Kritik Promotes Deep Ecology
Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian
National University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of
New England. “Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian
Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No 4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

One strand of environmental thinking provides a challenge to a further

alleged bastion of anthropocentric parochialism—anthropocentrism or
human chauvinism. Just as we have abandoned our geocentric cosmology,
our anthropocentric biology, and related conceits; so, it is claimed, we
should give up our anthropocentric morality. Indeed the search for a
credible non-anthropocentric basis for value in nature has been the central
preoccupation of environmental philosophy. Anthropocentrism is the focal
issue of this paper. Part of the challenge is to find an appropriate scale for
concern about our biotic fellow citizens, a concern which extends across
species and across time.
My aim however is not to bury anthropocentrism, but to defend it, at least in
a qualified form. My claim is that if we attempt to step too far outside the
scale of the recognizably human, rather than expanding and enriching our
moral horizons we render them meaningless, or at least almost
unrecognizable. The grand perspective of evolutionary biology provides a
reductio ad absurdum of the cluster of non-anthropocentric ethics which can
be found under the label "deep ecology". What deep ecology seeks to
promote, and what deep ecologists seek to condemn, needs to be articulated
from a distinctively human perspective. And this is more than the trivial
claim that our perspectives, values and judgements are necessarily human.
Kritik Solves for Ontology
(__) Breaking our of Human First Anthropocentrism allows discovery of being.
Naess et al, ’88 (Arne, John Seed, Joanna Macy, and Pat Fleming, Beyond Anthropocentrism,
Thinking like a mountain- towards a council of all beings, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, 1988)

When humans investigate and see through their layers of anthropocentric self-cherishing,
a most profound change in consciousness begins to take place. Alienation subsides. The
human is no longer an outsider, apart. Your humanness is then recognised as being
merely the most recent stage of your existence, and as you stop identifying exclusively
with this chapter, you start to get in touch with yourself as mammal, as vertebrate, as a
species only recently emerged from the rainforest. As the fog of amnesia disperses, there
is a transformation in your relationship to other species, and in your commitment to them.
What is described here should not be seen as merely intellectual. The intellect is one
entry point to the process outlined, and the easiest one to communicate.
Alternatives Exist: Partial Rejection
Grey, ’93 (William, prof. @ University of Queensland, taught at Australian
National University, Temple University, Philadelphia, and the University of
New England. “Anthropocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Australiasian
Journal of Philosophy, Vol 71, No 4 (1993), pp. 463-475.)

The attempt to provide a genuinely non-anthropocentric set of values, or

preferences seems to be a hopeless quest. Once we eschew all human values,
interests and preferences we are confronted with just too many alternatives,
as we can see when we consider biological history over a billion year time
scale. The problem with the various non-anthropocentric bases for value
which have been proposed is that they permit too many different
possibilities, not all of which are at all congenial to us. And that matters. We
should be concerned to promote a rich, diverse and vibrant biosphere.
Human flourishing may certainly be included as a legitimate part of such a
The preoccupations of deep ecology arise as a result of human activities
which impoverish and degrade the quality of the planet's living systems. But
these judgements are possible only if we assume a set of values (that is,
preference rankings), based on human preferences. We need to reject not
anthropocentrism, but a particularly short term and narrow conception of
human interests and concerns. What's wrong with shallow views is not their
concern about the well-being of humans, but that they do not really consider
enough in what that well-being consists. We need to develop an enriched,
fortified anthropocentric notion of human interest to replace the dominant
short-term, sectional and self-regarding conception.