THE NATURE OF ECOCENTRISM (ECOLOGICAL EQUALITY)

Having provided a re-articulation of my general theory of leadership (Chapter 1) and an elucidation of the meaning and manifestations of anthropocentrism (Chapter 2), I now turn to an exposition of the profoundest sense of Earth-centeredness. A thorough exposition (but not an exhaustive one, which would exceed the study’s scope) is required not only to reclaim the radical signification of ecocentrism but also to be able to begin to enunciate/build an environmental leadership model. Now, in order to complete the exposition, several tasks will need to be undertaken. I commence by acknowledging ancient and modern biocentric discourses out of which eco-centeredness emerges, as well as those modern texts that are quasi/proto-ecocentric. Next, I define eco-centeredness as a radical egalitarianism that is inclusive of all entities, including organic and manufactured things, and both natural and built environments. I elaborate this conception by drawing heavily on the work of Freya Mathews, and a few other thinkers; in doing so, the definition is refined and ecocen-trism’s ethos/ethic is articulated. Next, I briefly discuss emotions or affective states associated with Earth-centeredness. I then ground and defend the position. I survey various possible justifications, favoring the fundamental right to existence extended to all things. I then address six objections to ecocentrism -five identified by the eminent Australian eco-political theorist Robyn Eckersley, and one raised by McLaughlin. The chapter ends with a short concluding section. Unlike the previous chapter on human-centeredness, which includes summaries of anthropocentric “expressions” (hyper-instrumentalism, hyperconsumption, etc.), the present chapter does not discuss the “corresponding” antithetical ecocentric expressions: for the sake of structural cohesiveness and the avoidance of repetition, these are identified and discussed in the subsequent chapter, as part of the sketch of ecocentric leadership.

 
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