Holism and Humanism in Environmental EthicsDon E. Marietta, Jr.
The prevailing view of nature has begun to move away from a traditionally Western humans-apart-from-nature attitude toward one that sees humans as a part of nature. Don E. Marietta describes these changes and what he perceives as a philosophical shift toward new holistic models of environmental ethics. He supports a critical holism that stresses the moral importance of the interrelationship of human beings, animals, plants, and non-living things in their common dependence on the ecosphere.
Considering that this humanistic approach to ethics recognizes a shared responsibility to the whole system of nature, Marietta explores the apparent conflict between environmental holism and the interests of individuals, incorporating the perspectives of ecofeminism, anthropocentrism, contextualism, and pluralism.
This approach produces an ecologically enlightened position that calls for a commitment to protecting planet Earth, while recognizing that "even though it may not be easy or simple, we can live according to a humanistic and holistic ethic, one which seeks the good for people and for the planet."
Environmental Ethics, Values, and Policy