Biocentrism Vs Anthropocentrism

The Great Indian Bustard, a gravely endangered species, with hardly about 200 alive in India today, came under the protective wings of the Supreme Court of India in a recent judgment.

The overhead power lines have become a threat to the life of these species as these birds frequently tend to collide with these power lines and get killed.

In protecting the birds, the Court has affirmed and emphasised the biocentric values of eco-preservation.

The philosophy of biocentrism holds that the natural environment has its own set of rights which is independent of its ability to be exploited by or to be useful to humans.

Biocentrism often comes into conflict with its contrarian philosophy, namely anthropocentrism.

Anthropocentrism argues that of all the species on earth humans are the most significant and that all other resources on earth may be justifiably exploited for the benefit of human beings.

Expressions of such line of thought date back many centuries and find mention in Politics, a well-known work of Aristotle, as also the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant amongst many others.

Source: Empowering nature with biocentric jurisprudence/The Hindu (July 24, 2021)

Definition of Biocentrism

Biocentrism, ethical perspective holding that all life deserves equal moral consideration or has equal moral standing. Although elements of biocentrism can be found in several religious traditions, it was not until the late decades of the 20th century that philosophical ethics in the Western tradition addressed the topic in a systematic manner.

Roots of biocentric ethics can be found in a number of traditions and historical figures. The first of the five basic precepts of Buddhist ethics is to avoid killing or harming any living thing. The Christian saint Francis of Assisi preached to animals and proclaimed a biocentric theology that explicitly included animals and plants. Some Native American traditions also hold that all living things are sacred. Source: Britannica


Anthropocentrism refers to a human-centered, or “anthropocentric,” point of view. In philosophy, anthropocentrism can refer to the point of view that humans are the only, or primary, holders of moral standing. Read More.

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