Contemporary societies in Africa (like the rest of the world) are increasingly facing drastic environmental problems which, in most cases, are a direct consequence of man's anthropocentric attitudes toward nature. Since the dawn of the twentieth century, multidisciplinary efforts to articulate a universal praxis for the environment have become frantic. In Philosophy, arguments in support of a paradigm shift led to the emergence of non-anthropocentric thoughts like Paul Taylor's respect to nature. He rejects anthropocentrism and advocates for equality and moral significance among different life forms irrespective of different interests. Thus his biocentrism is egalitarian, and essentially, an extension of inherent worth from humans to other life forms. He thinks this paradigm shift in the way man views and treats nature can solve the crises. The main objective of this paper was to ascertain the applicability of Taylor's theory. In this direction, a pragmatic approach was adopted. This methodology was preferred for its tendency of evaluating everything based on practicability. It was found that there were links between Taylor's thought and Kant's notion of respect for persons; and that biocentric egalitarianism marked a major shift from traditional ethics. Furthermore, the theory was found tenable in areas like strategic planning for attitudinal change, policy design, law, administration, environmental remediation, reparations and environmental justice; which are practical ways of quelling environmental crises. However, there were some conceptual, exegetical, and existential weaknesses within biocentric egalitarianism. The study concluded that biocentric egalitarianism is, in several ways, tenable in tackling contemporary environmental problems.
Attfield, Robin. “Biocentrism” in Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Vol. 1. ed. Callicott, Baird J. and Robert Frodeman. Detroit: Gale Centage, 2009: 97 - 100. PDF.
“Biocentric Consequentialism, Pluralism and 'the Minamax Implication': A Reply to Alan Carter”. Utilitas. Vol. 15 (1), 2003: 76 – 91. PDF.
“Biocentric Consequentialism and Value Pluralism: A Response to Alan Carter.” Utilitas. Vol. 17 (1). 2005.
The Ethics of Environmental Concern. 2nd edit. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991 . Print.
“The Good of Trees.” in Journal of Value Inquiry. Vol. 15, 1983: 35 – 54. Print.
“Anthropocentric vs Non-Anthropocentric Environmental Ethics”. Capilano University Open Course Ware Website. 14 July, 2013. Web.
Minster, Ben A. “The Convergence Hypothesis” in Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Vol. 1. ed. Callicott, Baird J. and Robert Frodeman. Detroit: Gale Centage, 2009: 185 - 186. PDF.
“Bioremediation.” in Wikipedia. 10 Mar, 2013. Web.
Callicott, Baird J. "Environmental Ethics: I. Overview" in Encyclopedia of Bioethics 3rd Edit. Stephen Post (Ed). Vol. 2, New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1995: 676 - 686. Print.
_____ Callicott, J. Baird. 1992. ''Rolston on Intrinsic Value: A Deconstruction''. Environmental Ethics. Vol. 14, 1992:129 - 143. Print.
Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962. Print.
Elliott, Lorraine. “Biocentrism”. in Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Web.
Goodpaster, Kenneth E. “On Being Morally Considerable”. Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 75(6) , 1978.
Gutek, Gerald. Philosophical, Ideological, and Theoretical Perspectives on Education. New Jersey: Pearson, 2014. Print.
Inja, Terzungwe. “A Critique of Paul Taylor's Biocentric Egalitarianism”. A Masters Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. July, 2016.
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Random House, 1949. Print.
ejoy, Arthur O. The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936 in Taylor, Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics.
Moore, George Edward. Principia Ethica. Cambridge: University Press, 1903. Print.
Mouchang, Yu & Yi Lei. “Biocentric Ethical Theories” in Environment and Development Journal. Vol. II, 2009: 422 – 430. Print.
Naess, Arne. “The Shallow and the Deep, Long–Range Ecology Movement: A Summary” in Inquiry. Vol. 16, 1973: 95 - 100. Print.
Norton, Bryan G. Why Preserve Natural Variety? Princeton, NJ: University Press, 1987 . Print.
Toward Unity among Environmentalists. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print.
Oakley, Justin. “Applied Ethics' in Routledge History of Philosophy. Vol X. Canfield, John V (Ed.). London: Routledge, 2005: 254 – 259. Print.
“Paul Taylor (Philosopher)” in Wikipedia. 22 Jun, 2015. Web.
“Paul Warren Taylor”, in Global Warming Causes: Environmental Ethics. 22 Jun, 2015. Web.
“Pragmatism”, Encarta Dictionary, Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft. DVD-ROM.
“Reparation”. in Dictionary.Com. 20 Aug, 2015. Web.
Scherer, Donald. “Anthropocentrism, Atomism, and Environmental Ethics.” in Environmental Ethics Vol. 4 (2), 1982: 115 – 123. Print.
Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. London: Jonathan Cape, 1975. Print.
Sterba, James P. “Biocentrist Strikes Back” in Environmental Ethics. Vol. 20(4), Winter 1998: 361–376.
Taylor, Paul W. “Are Humans Superior to Animals and Plants?” in Environmental Ethics. Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer, 1984: 149 – 160. Print.
“The Ethics of Respect for Nature”. in Environmental Ethics. Vol. 3(3), 1981: 197 – 218 . Print.
Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics (25th Anniversary Edition). New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2011. Print.
Varner, Gary. In Nature's Interest? Oxford: University Press, 1998. Print.
Wade, Megan. “Review of Paul Taylor's Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics (25th Anniversary Edition)”. in Good Reads. Web.
Williams, Brian G. "Paul Warren Taylor". Personal Blog. 15 Mar, 2016. Web.