Box 3, Item 1744: (Section IV)

Title

Box 3, Item 1744: (Section IV)

Subject

Computer print out on Val Plumwood (Val Routley) and Richard Routley's (Richard Sylvan) environmental philosophy, includes 48 literature summaries of their works. Author not identified.

Description

Title in collection finding aid: ?: computer print out on Routleys’ environmental phil.

Source

The University of Queensland's Richard Sylvan Papers UQFL291, Box 3, Item 1744

Contributor

This item was identified for digitisation at the request of The University of Queensland's 2020 Fryer Library Fellow, Dr. N.A.J. Taylor.

Rights

For all enquiries about this work, please contact the Fryer Library, The University of Queensland Library.

Format

[24] leaves. 19.2 MB.

Type

Manuscript

Coverage

Australian National University - Second Bookcase - Fourth Shelf - Pile 2

Text

(SECTIC;. i'v'j

174

/al Plumwood 1 and Richard Rout ley

Peter

like

Singer,

so-e

basic

wish

Philosophic

to

question,
assumptions

underpinning estern can's attitudes loaros nis role in the
moral universe ana his relationship to nonhunan animals.
1

*vai •Plumwood has done most of ner work under ner married name:
• v a 1 “Routley.

*ln deference, however, to her wish tc establish herself under
•Plur »ooi that name

■ill oe used throughout this work.
In
a
passage reiininscent of Singer's call for
examination of unguestioneo assumptions, they state:

..nodern

moral

philosophers

--

fulfilling

tneir now established function of providing a
theoretical superstructure to explain and
justify

contemporary

rather

than

.oral

sensibilities

questioning

fundamental

asumptions -- tend to argue tnat tne bias
toward human interests, which is an integral

part

of

going ethical theories, is not just

hich is
both possible and aesiraole tc eliminate, out

another form of

class

cnauvinism

is ratner a restriction nctated by tne logic

of

evaluative

an-

.oral concepts, ana tnat

the

Page 2
coherent, possible, or viable
alternative to the "human chauvinism" of.
standard etnical theories. 2
there is no

“Richard “Routley “sand\& “Vai “Routley.
'‘Against the “inevitability of “Human

2

“Cnauvinisr .
“>ln\a “Goodpaster, “r.,“E. "&ar At *K.“ .
“Sayre, "o.eds\&.
“ttric

s ano “Problems of tne 21st “Century.
“ one “Lame, “.-Diversity of "-otre “Dame “t ress,

If

class

cnauvinism

Jo-7.

differential,

"is

discriminatory and inferior treatnent (oy sufficiently many
members of the class) for items outside the class, for which
there

is

not

suiXiciect

chauvinism is tne form of

justification"3,

class

chauvinism

in

then
which

human

the

species, uaao Sapleur., substantially morally discriminates
against everything nonhuman by an insufficiently justified
assumption of human rnoral uniqueness.

“R, “Routley “4<and\i. *v, “Routley, “Hunan "Chauvinisi? and “Environmental “Ethics.
“kln\& “ annison, “D.“S.,
c“Ror>bie, “m.“A., “aand\&
“R. “Routley,
“Environmental “Philosophy.
“Canberra, “A“ "u, 1980; 96.
*&eds\&.

The

contention

that

man

is tne sole subject of value and

Page J
morality

fallacy.

by

definition

This

runs

contention

aground

takes

the

the
seif-validating ana unchallengeable;
consideration oeing exclusive

to

on

a

definitional

definition ot moral
human

realm

to

be

The fallacy of the definitional move is that
of
believing
that
by
converting
the
substantive evaluative
theses
of
nu<an
chauvinism to matters of definition they
become somehow exempt from challenge or need
for
justification,
iris is comparable to
justifying discriminatory menbership for a
club by referring to the rules, similarly
conceived as self-validating and exempt from
question or need of justification. 4

v

v r'r sr °Ut3sy "&andX& "v • *Routiey.

'Against the 'Inevitability of 'Human

In this case the club rules define the Moral Club.

These
definitions
can
upon
either
Physical
characteristics or a set of properties that are logically
connected with qualification for moral consideration,
it is
onvious that the physical characteristics are not morally
relevant:
*
x
It is impossible to restrict moral terms to
particular species, when species distinctions
are
defined
in
terms
of
physical
characteristics
which
are
not
morally
relevant,
•ore generally, an attempt to derive a
logically
necessary
connection
net eet
humanity itself and the applicability of
morality is bound to fail, for creatures
anatomically ana zoologically aistinct fro
hurans
>hicii arc identical with humans in
terms ot morally relevant
features
arc
logically possible,
upsetting any logical
linkage. 5
5•

and Houtley.
W Koutley
■■

Against the inevitability of Human Chauvinism;
39.
X

rnerefore , the characteristics neeoed to support the
defintional
move
have
to
be
other
than physical
characteristics. However, if properties logically tiea „itn
moral considerations are examined closely, it is fauna that
they do not support the exclusive eligibility of hur ans to
tne Moral Clue. Three conditions or adequacy ore set down
for making tne Clue exclusive to humans:

Page 4
1.
The set of characteristics must
he
possessed
oy
at
least
all
properly
functioning humans,
since
tc
omit
any
si unit leant aroup usually considered subject
to iroral consiceratin, suer as infants, young
children,
prinitive tribesmen, etc., ano to
allow that it was ierrissiole to treat these
groups
in
the
ay
it
is considered
permissible to treat non-humans, that is, as
mere
instruments,
would
certainly
lc
repugnant to modern moral sensibilities and
would offend common intuitions as to the
orotherhood of mar., the vie- that all humans
are possessors of inalienable rights, Thus
human chauvinism , if it
is to produce a
coherent
theory which does not unacceptably
rule out some groups of humans, must find
so e set cf features cc on to the rust
diverse ' en ters of hu" anKiriu....
(luu loiax
Auclusloa
2.
in order tor nu an chauvinis;
to be
justified, this sec ot characteristics ust
not be possessed by any non-nuran.
Uiie
ioXai i-xclusiau

3. The set of characteristics must oe not
merely norally relevant but sufficient to
justify, in a ncn-circuiar way,
the cut-oil
of moral consideration at exactly tne right
point.
If human chauvinism is to avoio the
charge of arbitrariness and unjustifiability
and to demonstrate its inevitability ana tne
impossibility of alternatives, it rust erneroe
from tne characteristics why items not having
tne f ay oe used as i: ere instruments to serve
tne interests of
those which do possess
tne . b
(lac
Xb^Xxxi&euXai Ju&xxxXcaXXQa
liS&UuaXlbU )

b
“Routley and "Routley.
39-40.

"Against tne "Inevitability of "Human "Chauvinism J

But tne properties usually assumed to give humans
exclusive entry into tne moral Cluo when tested against
these conditions of adequacy either admit nonhumans or
exclude humans.
Thirty-two such properties are tested oy
Plumwood and Routely XuXb£ alia,
using
tools,
using
language, self-awareness,
ceing a■are of the Inevitability
ot one s own death, being aoie to answer questions about
moral
issues sucn as human chauvinism, having interests,
having projects, belonging to a social community,
being
morally responsible tor one's actions, etc., and all are
found anting on at least one count.

Page 5
However, the conditions of adequacy night oe challenged
as too stmgent. Yet, if tne '<oral Club is to be exclusive
to humans and neither arbitrary nor unjustified, then
condition 1 - tnat all functioning humans possess the
property - must apply, etherise tne requirerents for Club
member snip are drawn too narrowly and some humans are
excludes.
against this condition it might be argued tnat
numan is too
__
_____
_ _ and it is only persons (where
oread________
in scope
, .
re
j_eVdnt_ "para
parametre)
person is defined by some morally
relevant
e’tre) who
should
De considered,
this would mean that those humans
buran
, ,---- -—
-no
did not qualify as persons aouIo net oe eligible for
treatment as
oncers of tne
oral Clue or if they tie
treated as members that eligibiility was arbitrary and
unjust.
it it is the case that’all humans (persons) must
possess this property, then it must also be the case tnat no
nonhuman possesses it,
otherwise an Argument From Analogy
and Anoiiioiy applies.
if some nonhumans possess the property
or properties then the requirements for Club membership are
ara^n too broadly ana some nonnumans are eligible
_J. Finally,
it
is not enough to separate the eligible
- ’ J ~ ' •- from the
ineligible (or pernaps the edible from tne inediblej,
it
must oe snown why the ineiigiole are not only ineligible for
membership, but why tney cannot even oe consldereo for
membership, otherwise tne difference in treatment is not
justified.
To carry tne Club metaphor
..
a little farther,
pernaps too far, while remoers n.a,
ay h-.nave certain privileges,
this aoes not necessarily mean tnat
that in addition to not
enjoying these special privileges, nonrnembers can also oe
un*arrantly deprived of benefits common to memoers and
non-memoers.
why should membership devalue nonmenoers ano
put tneTi at the disposal of members?
it is o y this
condition that human chauvinism must show why humans are the
exclusive subjects of intrinsic value and the value of
nonhumans can be handled in terms of instrun.enr.al value to
humans.

If these conditions of adequacy stand, then
tne
definitional necessity of exclusiveness fails. Yet another
approach at making the realms of value ano
morality
exclusive to humans is to examine no.< values are thougnt to
operate.
. prototype argument tor this is laio out as
follows:
A.
values are
determined
through
tne
preference
rankings
of valuers
(tne aa
dfixacuafiie Karnes
,
Valuers'
preference rankings are determined through
valuer s interests (tne preXcifiace £aauci.ioa
thesis).
C.
valuers are humans (persons)
(tne saecsas assaaplioa).
I.
Therefore,
values are determines tnrouqn human interests
(tnrough tne interests ot persons).
8
Routley and Routley. Against the Inevitability of human Chauvinism:
The use of persons in this quotation is a reference to agru.rents aimed at

Page 6
saving tne exclusiveness of the doral Club by limiting membership to humans
with some given capacity, characteristic or excellence or combination of
these.
while this argument may succeed in preventing non- u.ans tror
consideration, it is at the cost of non-paradigr atic i,.<ins.

From this argument It is sometimes concluded that "not only
is it perfectly accceptatie for humans to reduce matters of
value and morality to natters of human interest, but
oreover there is no rational or possible alternative to
going
so;
any alternative is simply incoherent." 9
ithever, it this argument is disrantled it is snown to rest
on
a
set of false assumptions that even Charitable
tanipulation cannot save.
9
43.

Routley and Routley.

Against me Inevitability of Human Chauvinism;

an ambiguity resides in the use of 'determined through'
in precise
I,
if
'determined through' means 'have to ce
determined*, men Plumwood and Routley feel,
mat it is
’Odaliy
upgraded
"to
reveal the sneer necessity of
conclusion J." 10

10

“Routley and “Routley.

Against the inevitability of Human Chauvinism:

no-ever, this involves a similar modificiition of p r e tn i s e C
or eise a nodal fallacy is involved. The
C._ stronger
ci­
necessary
sense is preferable in forcing tne conclusion,
J -- as shall be
seen snortly when premise C is considered, but tne more
cnaritaoie move for tne argument is to weaken the use of
'determined mrougn' to something like 'reflect ' or 'are a
ratter of'. Despite either modification to resolve the
ambiguity
of 'determined through' premise A is still
susceptide to the charge:
value rankings cannot however ce cashed in
for
preference
rankings
since,
as 1 s
well-known, preference rankings and value
rankings car
diverge;
a valuer can prefer
wnat has less value and can value what is not
, referred.
11
Premise a is , therefore ( modified to read:
Al Values are determined through the value
rankings of (appropriate) valuers,
12
11
"Routley and “Routley. Against the Inevitability of Human Chauvinism
44.
12
Ro tley and Routley,
Against me inevitability of num Chauvinism:
44.

Bypassing premise B for a moment, premise C,
the
St-ficieb aSiuuiptAob, can be seen as a "circular way of
reintroducing tne logical version of human chauvinism by
restricting tne class of valuers a priori to humans" and at

Page 7
Snr1 ^'?2Hy2enriy*-^rae'
13 11 is essential to the argument
lse1 c to oe a necessary condition that humans are
the only valuers.
ithout that the argument ooes not
human chauvinsitic conclusion.
if persons is
usea instead of humans, tnen it becomes
-ore defensible,
since not all humans are valuers, but not all valuers are
human,
if not all valuers are numar' or persons,
tnen to
sustain
the
human chauvinistic conclusion it becomes
necessary either to reject ail non-human (person) values or
i? i‘,’o e«- a "'ove m premise a such that 'interests' are
United to human (person) interests.

43-4.

Routley and Houtley.

Against the Inevitability of Human Chauvinism!

, „ It is just such a move at premise B ,
that ma k e s it,
tor them, tne most objectionable of the premises, Premise 6
is a group selfisnness
To
eirrsnness argument.
io show
tn
at
the
that
conclusion and particularly premise

pre ise “B is
little more than an
argument for group
oup egoism in an environmental setting,
they
oisplay it against
ainst an argument baldly for
egoism.
if
pre ise A is recast replacing 'preferences'
ith 'values' as
ov°'v-i^2'preTn!ern ?rS0 0ds.to have 'preferences' replaced
attention in
is no- shifted to
interests .
interests can oe usea either in a weax and
- ,
-se so tnat anything tne valuer values is in tne
Ya|uer s interest
,ln stronger, but false sense tnat is
intended to support interests as ceing in the valuer's
advantage:

to sum. up tne dilemma for the argument then:
when. "interests" is usea in its weaker sense
premise u may be accepted out
tne argument
does not establish its inter, oea conclusion or
in any way sucpoert human chauvinism.
For
tne intended effect of the argument in the
cruae form is this; in determining values it
is
enough
to look at human advantage;
nothing else counts.
If tne argument -ere
correct,
tnen one could assess values bv
cneckmq out tne local (selfish) advantage of
hu ans,
or, more generally, tne aavanta ,e of
tne case class someho* assembled.
it, on thP
otner hano,
"interests":
is usea in its
strong sense, tne conclusion would license a
form of human crauvinis , but premise
no,
false.
14
Rout ley ano

Routley.

“Against the “Inevitability of “Human "Chauvinism:

Page 8

This argument has a second
,
aspect to it which they
explore.
if tne argument is not acceptable as it stands,
then supposelv, neither is tne alternative of rejecting its
conclusion.
Precise A is opposed to the conclusion D (~a or
D / D-> A) to shod
either one accepts the conclusion,
ith its
consequent instru entalist account of value,
or one is committed to an intrinsic or
cetacned value theory wnich takes values to
oe completely independent of valuers,
no
------------ , ano
and r.c
ay determined oy tneit, out, it is assumed,
the latter theory is a ell Known as untenable,
and rr.ay even _.
____ as involving mysticism
be seen
or as oeing irrational
inus,
it may te
conduced,
there is no real alternative to
hu-an chauvinism.
lb
#15
Routley and Routley.
Against tne inevitability of Human Chauvinism;
but this choice is rejectee «
as a x
false
«js>c one:
u < < c.
To reject the instrumentalist conclusion D is
bv no means to be commited tc a, or to the
view that tne valuers
. _____
__
,____
and
their
preference
rankings play no role in determining values
and tnat values are
a_ further
'set„
o

__ ___ .
of
items
mysterious independent iters
in the world
somehow perceived by valuers
through
a
special (even mystical and nonr ational) moral
sense.
16

Against, the Inevitability of Human Chauvinism:
Parallel to this dichotomy between A and u is the dichotomy
Detween instrumental and intrinsic values so central in tne
division and treatment of members from nonmembers in tne
hor a1 Club;
Tne dicnotomy frequently presentea between
instrumentalist accounts of. value, on tie one
hand, ana detached tneories
(or what die
mistakenly taken to 0e the same, intrinsic
tneories) is, for the same reason, a false
one.
Instrumental theories ore those men
attempt to
reduce
value
to
what
is
instrumental to or contributes to a stated
goal.
Typically such theories taxe tne goal
to oe tne furtherance of the interest of a
privileged class;
tor example, tne goal may
oe taken to be determined in terms of the
interests, concerns, advantage, or welfare of
tne .class of humans, or of persons, or of
sentient creatures, cej ending on t>e type of
cnauvinism.
In particular, human chauvinist
tneories
are,
characteristically,
instrumentalist theories.
in contrast, an
item is valued intrinsically where it is
16

Routley and Routley.

47.

47.

Page 9
valued for its own sake, and not merely as a
means
to
something
further;
and
an
intrinsic-value theory allo is that some items
are
intrinsically
valuable.
valuable,
. intrinsic
theories tnen,
then, contrast with
- it n ___
instr urn on cal
theories,, and *hat
vhat "intrinsic" tells us is no
more
tnan
that
tne
the
iter
taken
as
intrinsically valuable is not valued merely
as a means tc some goal, i.e.,
is, not merely
- - is
instrumentally valued. Accordingly
- 117 detached
value
theories,
since
< disjoint
1
from
instrumental theories, are a suo-ciass of
intrinsic value theories;
and they are a
proper suoclass since intrinsic values need
not be detached, lSomething may __
______ _
be valuaole
in itself without its ceing detached frott all
valuing experience.
17

17

Routley and Routley. Against tne inevitability 01 ■ uman •Chauvinism

Because detacned value theories are only a subclass of
intrinsic value theories the dichotomies bet een A and b and
between instrumental and instrinsic theories are false.
Since detached theories cannot be maintained and totally
instrumental value theories leao to an infinite regress,
which is manifest if, consistent witn tne theory, the goals
of a valuer are taken as instrumental, then neither of tnese
extremes is acceptable, but values do exist, so some other
vie-, besides those offered in the dichotomy must
be
advanced, Plumwood ana Routley advance one vie* tnat denies
the dichotomy, yet does not limit valuers to humans and does
not li it tne value of objects to human instrumental values;
A person is the source of value-judgments and
values .in one sense,
i.e.
s/he is tne
valuer;
out not in another, namely s/ne is
not responsible for a valued item having its
valued properties.
or is there any licence
for reducing tne values assignee to those
tnat serve tne interests of tne valuer.
18
18
Routley and Routley. Hunan chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

This solution seems to do little more than shift the
detached value argument back one step.
-hy snould tne
qualities of an item be valued except that a valuer places
some value on them? Tnat is to say, all items (objects of
moral concern) have qualities,
out
tnat some of these
Qualities
are valued ana some are not inaicates tne
(instrumental) choices of a valuer
(unless a theory of
detacher values, *hich has just teen rejected, is adopted.)
me intent behind this value theory is to avoid positing
detacned values,
yet to maintain sone basis for intrinsic
values tnat cannot be cashed in tor instrumental values.
io

158

47’8.

Page 10

do this requires that the intrinsic value of the qualities
not be seen also as instrumental values.
it is not,
tneretorej a natter of assigning intrinsic values to tne
goals of instrumental value tneories,
it is a matter of
finding a way in which a particular goal or item or being is
capable of possessing value that is neither detached from,
the notion of a valuer nor , if connected in some manner to
a valuer, merely a means to another end.
Asserting the
valued qualities are resident
in the iter; is intended to
separate it from the valuer's evaluation and denying the
reauction of values to the interests of tne valuer is
intended to provide for an intrinsic worth in items and
separate intrinsic values from purely instrumental values,
if tne intrinsic value of an object is
conceptually
different from its instrumental value, then tne intrinsic
value must be taken into consideration separate from its
instrumental uses and instrumental judgments about the item.
Therefore, the item (object of moral concern) is
granted
respect in, of ana tor itself and this is the ultimate goal
of the P1U' .-ood/Koutley position.

An item can have an Intrinsic and an instrumental
worth,
but this does not in and of itself remove the humans
bias to arcs intrunentai values or towards the properties
valued.
For this the aerial that humans (persons) are tne
only valuers is needed:
It is simply a (common) mistake to think mat
values and rights do not have a meaning, or
an application, outsice tne human context or
situation:
to establish tnis point (on which
i-oore rightly insisted) it is enough to point
out again that (hypothetical) valuers, not
necessarily nun an or persons, can assign
values with respect to situations and worlds
devoid of hunans ano of persons altogether.
19
houtley ano "Routley. “Human Chauvinisr and “Environmental “mthics:
19
it can now be asserted tnat items in the environment have a
value beyond those assignee to then by humans (persons)) ana
that ceings other than humans can be valuers,, but what is
left to do is to establish tne relative ranks or
'pecking
In this regari tne greater value
order' of valuers.
things
may
nave
assumption "that ever, trough other
instrinsic value, people <or humans are more valuable than
anything else, and rank more highlyi (no matter how large
their numoer) ' must be denied.
20
Houtley and Pout ley.

Human Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

The greater value assumption, a weaker form, ot human
chauvinism, is open to most of objections made against numao
chauvinisr.
and to examples contrasting morally repugnant
humans
ith norally non-repugnant nonhumans illustrating t.ne

171.

157-b.

Page 11



unacceptable outcomes of this assumption, such as:
if tnere is only roc
in one's life boat
for
one ano one fust cnccse oet-.een saving Adolf
Hitler and a combat ^hicn nas lived a decent
life and never narirea a living creature, one
is morally obliged to choose the former. 21
21
Routley and Routley.
Against tne Inevitability of Human Chauvinism:
5 7.
Having set aside tne arguments for
value
being
exclusive to humans tney no focus on arguments for morality
being exclusive to humans.
One such argument is tne
contractual argument:

J.

K.

L.

M.
N.
22

fne
only
justification
of
moral
principles (only X) is a contractual one,
i.e., the entry into contracts of agents
(Zry).
Agents only enter into contracts (only Z)
it it serves tneir. o*n interests.
(The
Ciaisl.
ifiii J
Humans (persons) are the only agents that
enter into contracts (tout Zj,
therefore, oy K ano i;
Humans
(persons)
only
enter
into
contracts (only Z) if it serves tneir own
interests.
Tnerefore, from J and
:
Tne
only
justification
for
moral
principles
(only X)
is the (selfisn)
interests of humans (persons). 22

"Routley ano "Routley.

"Against the Inevitability of Human Chauvinisms

This entire contract argument can oe faulted as a
strawman, out tne general effect of the argument ano tne
conclusion still carry tne intention of human chauvinistic
arguments oased on the exclusiveness of morality to numans.
Thus tnis prototype is illustrative ana descriptive of the
sorts of conclusions in force and the sorts of premises usea
to support then.
Therefore, the counterarguments usea
against trie contractual argument and its close relatives
oesignate the sorts of attacxs that can be launched against
arguments for human cnauvlnis ano moral exclusiveness.
It is assumed tnat conditions other tnan contractual
ones
, e.g.
community based, can be substituted into
pre ■ ise J and with appropriate modifications to the rest of
tne argu ent tne same conclusion can be reached. Premise d
proports to set tne parameters of tne argument oy selecting
an activity with moral relevance that does not violate tne
second condition of adequacy previously set down.
In an

52.

Page 12
attempt to describe an exclusively hui<<an i oral context,
premise J's use o£ the ^oro 'only' to support entry into
contracts, a purely hu.an (person's) endeavour, makes it
obviously raise. turtnernore, in supporting the contract
-hdicinq as a purely human (person s) endeavour, however,
"premise J imports the very chauvinism that is at issue in
tne conclusion." 2J

23

“Routley ana “Routley.

Against tne inevitability of Human “Chauvinism:

53.

premise J is found to be faulty on several points.
If
moral obligation is tasen to ce a moral principle then
premise J
is not sufficient
to
include
all
moral
obligations.
"There is no actual contract underlying tne
principle that one ought not to be cruel to animals,
children, and otners not in a position to contract." 24 Ii
this too narrow scope »ere not enough to condemn tne theory,
then;

The social
contract
account
of
moral
obligation is defective because it implies
tnat moral obligations can really only hold
between responsible moral agents and attempts
to account for all. moral ooliqation as based
on contract.
but of course tne account is
correct as an account of the origin of some
tyr.es of moral ooligatlon;
there are moral
ooli ,ations of type that can only
hold
oetween
free and responsible agents and
others which only apply within a social and
political
context.
let other types of
ooligatlon, such as the obligation not to
cause suffering, can arise only with respect
to sentient or prefercnce-naving creatures -.•no are not necessarily morally responsible
-- ana could not significantly arise
itn
res.ect to a nonsentient such as a tree or a
rock.
25
Routley and Routley. Against the Inevitability of Human Chauvinism:
Routley ano Routley. Against tne Ir.evitablility of human Chauvinism:

24
25
A moral agent could have a moral obligation to a being
incapable of being or becoming a moral agent. Even when
precise J is amended to something besiaes a contractual,
foundation, it still comes to grief on tne sticking point of
obiigations.
Premise K, the egoist assumption;
is faulted on the same grounds as egoism
itself.
For agents sometimes enter into
contacts that are not in their awn interests
but are in tne interests of other persons or

54.
5b.

Page 13
creatures, or are undertaken on behalf of,
tor instance to protect, other items tr at do
not nave interests at all, e.g.,
rivers,
ouildings, forests.

Against the Inevitability of u an Chauvinism:
what is not pellucid nere, is that entering into a contract
on oenalf of another is not, or cannot, be in the interests
of the contracting agentand therefore a denial of premise K,
Entering into acontract that protects something that is
itself incapable of interests nay indirectly oe in the
interests of tne contracting agent even though tne agent's
interests are not directly recognized by tne contract.
by
example, an agent may enter into a contact that proctects a
virgin forest and the river that flos through it, in order
to protect the agent's access to water downstream of tne
forest.
Or pernaps even more indirectly, an agent ray sign
over his land as a wildflower sanctuary because
his
neighbour,
*no he nates,
is allergic to wildflowers.
It
would seer that wnat has to oe snown is that an agent would
enter a contract on behalf gf anotner -nen tne interests of
the other are directly opposed to tne interests of tne
conrtracting agent,
Opposition to tne contracting agent's
interests may oe, however, too strinqent a condition.
If
breaking the premise rests in showing tnat an agent will act
outside nis selfish interests, tnen it is only necessary to
snow tnat an agent
vould enter into a contract when his
selfish interests
-ere not involved.
In sucn a case,
entering a contract tc protect a river, building, or forest
could ce sufficlent.
26

-^outley and Routiey.

53.

Premise K can be amended to reflect the ability to
enter into contracts for beings or things other tnan tne
contracting agent:

27

However even if premise . K were amended to
ad-iiit that agents may enter into contracts on
oenalt of nonhuman items,
it would still
result in a form of numan chauvinis given
familiar -assumptions, since nonhun-an items
will
still
ce
unable to create moral
obligaions except through a human sponsor or
patron, who will presumably
aole to choose
-hetner or not to protect them. 27
"Routley and "Routiey.
"Against the "Inevitability of "Human "Chauvinism:

but if tnis modification is made and nonhuman items are
unable to create a moral, obligation on the agents
(agents
ceing under moral obligations only where they cnoose to De),
then tnis premise assumes tne conclusion ■. It is only the
interests of the humans
Involved tnat justify the moral
obligation imposed by tne contract.

53.

Page 14
Premise L is strengthened by trie use of
person* "tor
otherwise premises suer, as e and its variations are suspect,
since tnere is nothing,
legally or morally,
to prevent
consortia,
organizations, and other nonhumans from entering
into contracts (and tnese items are appropriately counted as
persons in the larger ieg.,1 sense)." 2t

28

-? 3 •

Routley and Routley.

Against the Inevitability of Hunan Chauvinism:

■<hile premise L may be the better by this move premises
j and k are both tne worse. J remains false and K is either
false or assumes the conclusion if modified to allow for
conditions tnat would save tne human chauvinistic elements
of it.
thus contractual arguments land alter natives of the
same form as this prototype) for the substantiation of a
human cnauvinistic-oased environmental ethics are lost.
ine
assumptions underlying tne premises are simply not. equal to
the task of supporting the conclusion. Further modification
of
the premises is at the expense oi violating the
conditions of adequacy for exclusive human membership in the
.'oral Clue.
if the restrictions (such as 'only') on
oremdses ltxe J (or variations of it) are removed, then
leeway is
left for including soie npnhumans oi excluding
some humans.
Cn the other hand,
restrictions may oe
retained and tne contractual portion is modified put the
result is tne sane.
ire -ore vital premise for establishing
tne human cnauvinistic conelusion, premises like K tnat 1ink
t?e exclusive numan justification ot moral actions to human
interests, either assume the conclusion or may re countered
by examples that snow them to be false.
Plum-ood and Routley conclude;
it is not possible to provide criteria
hich
would jusill* distinguishing,
lr the sharp
way standard western ethics do,
between
numans and certain nonhuman creatures, and
particularily those creatures which
have
preferences or ^referred states. For sucn
criteria appear to depend upon tne mistaken
assumption
that moral respect for other
creatures is due only when they can be shown
to
measure
up
to
some
ratner
axaltbai.ll4=u£.t.££aifi£d and JLaauea tests for
membership of a privileged class (essentially
an elitist view),
instead of upon,
say,
respect
for
tne
preferences
of other
creatures.
Accordingly tne
sharp
moral
distinction, commonly accepted in ethics bv
philosophers and ethers alike,
all
bureaus aea all olb££ aniial ^pbclax*. lac&£ a
Sall^laClQty; Cobfitbul
29

Page 15

29

103.

“Koutley ana “Routley.

“Chauvinisi

ar.) “•.nviron : ental “£tnicss

Having broken the exclusiveness of value and morality
to humans and naving disconnected the link of values and
morals to solely human interests,
■ nat alternatives are
there to human chauvinistic systens? Given tne analysis
just made of value and morality, Plumwood ano Routley
maintain:

what emerges
____ __ _ is
________
____ of
__ types of
__
____
a picture
oral
obligation as associated with a nest of rings
or annular bounaary
classes,
with
the
innermost
class,
consisting
of
highly
_
creatures,
intelligent,
social,
sentient
having tne full range of moral obligations
applicable to them, ana outer classes of sucn
nonsentient
items as trees and rocks having
only a much more restricted range of moral
obligations significantly applicable to them,
In
in some cases there
is no sharp division
between tne rings,
'but there is no single
uniform privileged class of items, no one
base class,
to which all ano only moral
principles directly apply, and moreover the
zoological ■class of humans is not one or tne
really significant boundary classes.
Tne
recognition
tnat
sone
types
of moral
ooiiqation only apply -<ithin tne context of a
particular
sort
of society, or through
contract, does nothing to support the case of
human cnauvinlsfi .
3

30

55.

Routley and “Routley.

-gainst tne inevitability of human Chauvinism

This notion of nested zones or an annular
classes ; ay be diagramed as in Diagram i. 31

picture

of

Page lb

31
"Routley, "Richard.
"Canberra, 1981: 2.

"In "defense of "Cannibalise,

"Unpublished paper.

The laoels for the rings or zones represent;

32

respectively different soils of objects
such
as,
objects
of
moral
concern,
/.elf are-having
objects,
preference-havers
(and
cnoice-na<ers),
right-nolders,
obligation-holders
and
responsibilitybearers,
trose contractually- co<ni!'ittea- and
tne different sorts of obligations that can
significantly apply to such objects.
ot all
the tyoes of objects indicated are distinct,
nor is the listing intended to be exhaustive
but rather illustrative.
for
strictly the
laoels given should oe expanded, as the
distinctions are categorical ones, so tnat
what matters is net whether an object is, tor
instance, contractually committed in sore
fasnion out whether it is tne sort of thing
that can be,
whether it can significantly
enter into or be committed by arrangements of
a contractual xina,
32
Routley and Routley.
human Cnauvinlsin and Environmental Ethics:

oreover,
tne categorical distinctions that demarcate the
various rings or zones are morally relevent categories.
ine
annular
picture
does
not. reject traditional ethical
categories, tut does reject the limitation of categories to
one snecies or case class.
.Also it rejects unjustified
distinctions tnat are not "...categorical distinctions .hich
tie analytically -itn ethical notions...."
33

107-8.

Page 17

Routley ana "Routley.

"Human "cnauvinis

and "Environmental "Ethics:

inis celng tne case:

it is certainly in no «ay species chauvinist
or nuian chauvinist. For none of tne zones
of tne annular picture couprises the class o£
humans
(or its
jincr variant tne class of
persons);
for tnis class is not of moral
relevance.
34
_Routley and Routley.

Human Chauvinism ana Environmental Ethics:

Returning again to tne metaphor of tne oral Club, under tr.e
annular ring picture membership in tne Club is automatic to
all objects of moral concern, out tne privileges within tne
Club are limited by moral capacities to use the facilities
ot me Club.
Tne obligations and the extent of those
ooligations of human members to nonhuman members rest upon
tne type of moral object . tne nonhuman is and on its
capacities (illustrated by its overlay on the annular rings)
not upon a comparison of tne nonhuman to tne human. For
example a being capaole of contractual obligation could
justifiaoly discriminate against a being unaole to make
contracts
with reference
to
contractual
ooligations,
regardless of
the species of tne t/o beings.
dy tie same
token,
it would be unjust of a
preference-haver
to
discriminate against another preference-haver solely because
tne two preference-havers were of uifferent species.

loo it snould be notes tnat Diagram 1 illustrates tne
position of humans as a species ano not tnat ot a particular
human. Any given nuran, as ith any given object of
noral
concern plotted on tne annular rings, .»ould not necessarily
mater? in each detail the plot of tne species to «nicn it
oelonjs:

Just as tnere are relevant divisions beyond
tne class of perference-havers , so tnere are
ithir. the class. Tnus tne suggestion tnat
tne class to.-a rds which noral obligations
(ano a corresponding Sait ot moral concern
which ta<es account ot creatures* states) ay
oe neld is bounded
by
tne
class
of
preference-havers,
does not ot course imply
tnat oo disxiUGXicas can be nade -iiwl- the
class of preference-navers with respect to
tne kind of behaviour appropriate to them.
For example, contractual obligations -- wnicn
Dy no means exnaust obligation -- can only be
nela directly
(as distinct from by way of
representative) with respect to
a
n.ucn
narrower class of creatures, from which many



108.

P a g e 1«
humans are excluded.

35

10 7.

3b

“Routley and “Routley.

“Human “Chauvinis

and “Environmental “Ethics;

The shift from determining moral regard by a comparison
o£ nonnumans to humans to a determination oy an examination
ot categorical distinctions expands tf.e range of nonhuman
objects of moral concern.
ay rejecting tne base class
assumption, value as determined oy use or production by the
base class is also rejected. inis does not mean tnat human
values *111 be rejected, but tnat values will no longer oe
judged solely in human terms and that human values -ill no
longer automatically taxe precedent over all other values,
inus a particular ecosystem, e.g. a swamp, is recognized a.,
having value other tnan the possible location of an oil­
bearing geosyncline or a salt dome.
It is seen to nave
value as the home of a number of various flora and fauna
species with a complex set of inter-relationships and as a
system in itself that is not reducible to the interests of
one species or even group of species within it.

Inis last point tnat the value of an ecosystem, or any
similar complex of values, interests, preferences, etc,, is
not reducible to the values, interests, or preferences of
either the individual components or toe whole, ignoring tne
individual components, is called by them tne "no-reduction
position".
Inis position permits a middle ground between
tne extremes of particularistic and holistic views and
thereby provides a loc is for what they term "the ecological
outlook":
in a closely related
-ay,
the no-reduction
position can provide a suitable metaphysical
base for an ecological
outloox vor*
i
ax vuuxuurs
worldview,
in which man is seen
:
as .part
_
of a natural
community, part of natural systems seen as
integrated
wholes
and with .welfare and
interests
bound
whole, ......
ano not
__________ ____
__ up with the
.....................
as,
in tne typical .estern view, a separate,
self-contained actor standing outsue tne
syster
and manipulating it in the pursuit of
self-contained interests,
36
36
Routley, Vai and Richard Routley. Social rneories, oelf management,
and Environmental Problems.
“&“ln\s annison,
.s., iCRobbie,
.a. “ .anoX*
R. Routley, “&edsX&. Environmental Philosophy. Canberra, am), I960:
319.
One of the offsooots ot this no-reductior position is a
policy of respect for the systei , its parts, and for the
inter-relationships between parts and the parts and the
h ole;

Page 19
Tne no-reduction position can thus provide a
natural
foundation
for
a
genuinely
environmental ethic, one *nicn allows human
actions to be guided oy respect, cure and
concern for the natural world and rejects tne
"human
Egoist"
tnesis
that
tne
only
constraints on nunan action concerning nature
arise from tne interests of other numans.
For sucn relations of interdependence between
man and nature must give rise to constraints
on numan action in the same
*ay
tnat
appropriate
relations
of. interdependence
between en do, so tne thesis that action can
and must oe unconstrained by any concerns
other than human ones fails, as does tne
thesis tnat nature is no more than a means to
hu an ends, a mere tool.
37

37

Routley and Routley.

Social theories, Self management, and Environmentaifroblems:

Tne respect position .is cased on one or
general ooligation principles:
1.

ore

of

three

Ine general principle cf respect
. .. .. _ _ i for preference-navers
(.formerly
applied
only
to
human
preferences)
is
transferred to the larger arena of all oeinys or items
that can be placed in a disprefer red state> •
..the requisite, important and non-ar.itrary
distinction is to ce ora*n which narKS out
the class
of
creatures
to.-,arcs
-hicn
obligations
may ce held;
tnat is,
the
usually
recognisec
principles
oi
consideration
towards
others
(of
tne
privileged class) properly extend or should
be generalized to consideration for other
creatures
having
preferences,
and
xgg
geaaxal aeXeriSiCle GGliGaiiaa
-iu.cci„14i is fiat Lii put
aXfaets
XoXuui
PitfiXetfiaGfisfiaAzexsl iuia a dis^raXaxxfia state
1CC GQ GQGU reuses, 38

Routley and Routley,
2.

39

Hunan Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

Preferences alone, ho-.ever, are still too narro
to
develop an environmental ethic or ecological outlooK. So
tne second principle applies to beings or
iters
<itn an
interest'
or
'welfare',
v-nere rf...an 'interest' or
welfare in tne broaa sense is a Xclus or life-goal, as
possessed by living things, or an equilibrium or system
goal, as possessed oy living ecosystems." 39
Routley and Routley,

104.

'

Human Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

106,

319.

Page 20

iherefore, tne second principle is:
that the -altaic or
of animate
objects and also such biological items as
ecosystems can ce affected in one way oi
another, e.g.
increased, decreased, upset.
Foi instance, the wellbeing of a coastal
community and of the individual trees in it
can ce reduced to zero oy sandmining, and it
can be seriously threatened by pumping vaste
detergent into trie nearoy ocean. Tnere is a
general ocligaiton principle corresponding
likewise to tnis more comprehensive class of
,»elf are-bearers, namely, dpX to jaopafoxse
ttfi ..ulijeiiju ui aaiuxai oPJecxs uc
-J.4--UU1 JiCu ±£aiGU.
4<)
40

3.

Routiey and Routiey.

Human Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics;

lOu- /.

Beyond preference-havers and beings or systems
ith
interests or welfares,
the environment contains items,
sucn as rocKS, soils and «:ater*ays tnat nave value, out no
preferences or interests;

unlike higher animals sucn items
cannot
literally be put into dispreferred states
(and In
obvious sense, as opposed to the
ider sense of 'interests' tied to welfare,
they have no interests),
out they can be
damaged or destroyeo or nave their Maiue
eroded or impaired. 41
41

Routiey ana Routiey.

Human Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics;

Tne three generalizable obligation principles
are
parallel in their structure and application and vary omv in
/.hat rings of the annular Picture that
they
cover.
Exclusiveness of the principles to a particuair ring,
however, snould not ce assumed.
ine principle of not
damaging or destroying the value of an object of in oral
concern could extend across the entire annular picture.
Thus tne overlay of a ^articular ouject of moral concern
will indicate which principle(s) of obligation may be
applied to a particular case. An object of moral concern,
e.g. a wornoat, may very veil be capdole of being placed in
a
dispreferred
state,
its
wellbeing
or
interests
jeopardizej, or devalued at one ana tne same time.
in tne
other hand, another object of moral concern, e.g. Ayers
Rock, may, perhaps, only be disvalued.

109.

Page 21
Further tne respect position not only gives generalized
principi.es of od! igat ion , but it also reverses tne common
notion of when tnese principles are applied:

Cn tne alternative thoroughgoing
respect
vie.'.,
whi.cn
is
illustrated o y various
nonexploitive non- estern ethics, one starts
from a restricted position, a position of no
interference and no exploitation, a position
at peace witn tne natural world so to say,
and allots interference -- not as on
■estern
tninxlng,
restricts i terference -- for aooa
reasons.
ine onus of ,-roof is tnus entirely
inverted:
good reasons are required lax
interference, not xa siax interference. 42
_____ Routley and Routley.

nunan Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

174.

<*?verLi? ’
onus 01 proof leads to shifts and
inversions in otner areas as well. Requiring good reasons
for interfering crings about a shift in tne notion of
property ownership. Operating under a respect position, it
can no longer oe assumed that tne environment or pieces of
lii?an QofSrivate Property t0 De done with or disposed of at
■'•ill.
Before a s-amp can ce drained, or a forest" cut, or a
steam polluted seme
jooa reason must be given, Human
convenience and economic gain would not count as good

Respect does not preclude use, nut it does
preclude
certain
sorts of use.
it is
inco catioie aoove all -itn property vie ano
>.itn regarding something as no lore than a
eans to tne user's eras. 43

Routley* Social theories, Self management, and Environmental Problems:
The respect position is not only incompatible witn the
property view, it is also incompatible
1th tne strong
dichotomy between use and nonuse:
me conventional wisdom of
western Society
tends to offer a false dichotomy of use
versus respectful nonuse - a false choice
wnicn cones out especially clearly again in
tne treat ent of animals.
Here the choice
presented in -estern thought is typically one
of exxoex use without respect or serious
constraint, of using animals for example in
the ways cnaracteristic of largescare
mass-production farming and a market economic
systep wnich are inconpatiole with respect,
ox on the otner nand of not making any use of
animals at all, for e x ampie, never making use

322 .

Page 22

of animals for food or for farming purposes,
•hat is left out in unis choice is trie
alternative tne Indians and other non--.estern
teople have recognizee,
the alternative oi
li 'ited and respectful use, which enaoles use
to be made of animals, but does not allow
animals to oe used in an unconstrained way or
merely as means tc human ends.
44
44
Routley and Routley, human Chauvinism aid Environmental Ethics: 179.
bt^taKerVup tr^a^a ter °cn^t er*™ pe0fie' sever’di groups of Australian Aborigines, will

^either, then, is tne respect position a reverence
position tnat also arises from the use/nonuse oicnotoi y.
the lives, preferences, choices, and considerations of otner
species or objects of oral concern are not to be taken as
sacred and inviolable. out as has been pointed out before a
good reason must be given before interference can oe
orooKe . interference is acceptable, as in tne case of
’essential predation... nlch is essential to the normal
livelihood of the predator, and where tne predator takes tor
itself no more than it requires for its livelihood," 45
Routley, Richard.

in Defense of Cannibalism•;

32.

thus an alternative to tne western dichotomy of use versus
nonuse
is
to
mitigate,
if
possible,
tne
user's
considerations with the considerations of the item:
io so ise somethin i itnout treating it as
available for unlimited or unconstrained use
tor
numan
ends
is
characteristic
of
x;esfcicci.XuX use.
In contrast non-respectful
use treats the use of the Iten as constrained
by no considerations arising from the item
itself and tne user's relationship to it, but
as constrained only in a derivative way, by
considerations of the convenience, welfare
ano so forth of otner humans. 4b
Routley and Routley.

Human Chauvinism and Environmental Ethics:

For there to be a respectful position that denies tne
dichotomy of unconstrained use versus respectful nonuse and
tnat allows tor the relationsnip Detween tne user and tne
item and the considerations of the item to be taken into
account, one fundamental change in tne present relationship
between humans and tne environment tnat must eventuate is
for individual users to take direct responsibility for their
impact:
Respect

positions

can

only

be

generally

179.

Page 23
realized in a society in whicn tne basic
social structure and economy enables people
to take direct responsibility for tne impact
on tne natural world their needs and tneir
statisfaction create , such as in tne economy
of cooperative, involvement, 47

Routley and Routley. Social theories, Self "anagement, and Environmental Problems:
Human users taking direct responsibility tor tneir impact
snould lover tneir impact. If users bear tne responsibility
tor producing and managing what they need, then they should
produce, in a manner like unto tne 'taking' of essential
oreaation only wnat they neeo and should 'qo lighter' on tne
world:

323 .

..self-management can offer the alternative
of a
social^ in wnich nothing is
produced wnich uoes not correspond to genuine
needs an .i in which production is designed to
satisfy tnose needs «itn a minimum of
aste.
Tne possiclity of production of material
*nicn does not correspono to genuine neeos is
eliminated oy two factores in the ecomony of
cooperative exchange ano involvement;
first,
a direct relationsnip between tne possiblity
of use of an iter and direct expenditure of
labour on tne part of tne user, and second,
direct
cooperative
involvment
bet een
producers and users.
48
48

Routley and Routley.

social Theories, Self

anagement, and Environmental Problems:

Tne respect position, tnerefore, is intended to lower
the impact of human users on the entire environment, -nile
extending tne position's own impact goes far beyond tne
interrelations of human and other species. It is intended,
when applied to «estern cultures, to face among other issues
tne econonic/etnicai conflicts tnat nave been at tne core of
many of tne practical ethical problems concerning humans ana
nonhumans and that nave given rise to much of tne current
debate over inter-specific ethics.
ine respect position is
a strong repalcement to the Dominion Thesis that has been
tne ruleing and guiding principle of western though on
etnical relationsnips between numans and nonhumans. bike
the Dominion Thesis, tne respect position is a oasic set of
principles from whicn a wnoie range of problems, situations, '
and questions can oe approached. Tne alterations to the cut
of
-estern societies tnat would result from its adoption as
tne pattern of etmcal progress would oe more drastic tnan
that of either a Stewardship
Principle (or some other
weakened form of the Dominion Thesis) or an extension
principle, sucn as the Utilitarian extension proposed by
Singer.
fet these seeniniy drastic alterations, or some

313.

Page 24
otnef
equally drastic set, r^ay be no more tnan *nat is
■■eeje.; to restyle current practices as a more just ano less
ar o i t rary .

Collection

Citation

Val Plumwood and Richard Sylvan, “Box 3, Item 1744: (Section IV),” Antipodean Antinuclearism, accessed February 23, 2024, https://antipodean-antinuclearism.org/items/show/120.

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