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Människan i centrum: En studie av antropocentrisk värdegemenskap
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many factors indicate a number of fundamental changes in the last decades, with respect to people's views of animals and the environment, including our view of man's position in creation. In particular, the environmental and animal rights movements and their societal impact, and the fact that severalquantitative investigations show that people in general tend to place greater value in nature and in animals.

So, the questions that this dissertation addresses are: To what degree do people ascribe morally relevant value to animals and to our biological environment? Is the superior value of mankind, formerly taken for granted by most people, threatened, or even already undermined? In other words, ifthere really is an upgrading of the value of nature, is it balanced by a similar downgrading of the value of humans? Do we, as the quantitative studies imply, to a larger extent place the moral value of humanson an equal footing with the value of other living creatures?

In order to answer these questions, qualitative interviews were made with the Gene Technology Advisory Board, and with a number of environmentalists and animal rights activists. The empirical part of this dissertation also consists of an analysis of ten radical moral philosophers.

The main result of this study is that even though the informants and philosophers had quite different backgrounds, in terms of ideological perspectives and professional experiences, they all share an obvious pattern of common values, in other words a sort of moral consensus. The dissertation shows, more explicitly, that there is a common assumption among the informants that human beings are the most morally significant creature existing. Given this view, the logical consequence is that human interests are given priority in situations where these interests conflict with those of other creature's. In fact, no matter how morally relevant or significant non-humans are perceived to be, the anthropocentric world-view always gets the upper hand. That is human interests ultimately take precedence over those of non-human ones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 204 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, anthropocentrism, egalitarianism, intrinsic and instrumental value, value change, value consensus, environmental ethics, animal rights, doxa
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-756ISBN: 91-88820-99-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-756DiVA: diva2:169709
Public defence
2000-04-28, Universitetshuset, sal IX, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 11:00
Available from: 2000-04-07 Created: 2000-04-07Bibliographically approved

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