Response to Prompt 3- Romanticism

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I see the weak anthropocentric worldview as being an effective compromise that will move us in the  proper direction due to the fact that it represents a middle ground between the unrealistic romanticist perspective and the radical, self interested strong anthropocentric  perspective. Weak anthropocentrism remains the most rational alternative as it values human desires which align with “rationally adopted worldviews- views that include fully supported scientific theories as well as a set of rationally supported aesthetic and moral ideals.” (Norton, 134). It remains an ideal compromise as it encourages rational thinking based upon scientific evidence rather than rash decisions based upon unsubstantiated personal preferences.                                                                                                                                          With the current rate of technological advancement,  the romantic viewpoint remains too idealistic and unsustainable. While human reverence of the natural world is important, it is completely unrealistic to believe that our current population will have the ability to sustain itself if  our natural resources remain pure and untouched. While I agree with Norton that adopting strong anthropocentrism is hazardous and unsustainable, I do believe that human preference does and will continue to play a role in our ability to make informed decisions about environmental sustainability. Because humans are the most intellectually complex beings, it is our responsibility to recognize our role as a part of the natural world and to adopt policies that allow us to work synergistically with the environment in which we live and respect our ecosystem rather than continue to exploit it. There is a stark difference between unrestricted human exploitation of resources and using only the resources we absolutely need rather than those we want. It is also important to note that “superiority” is relative. While we as humans may have a high intellectual capacity in comparison to a majority of other organisms, this does not automatically deem us totally “superior” or grant us authority to manipulate and take advantage the ecosystem that we are a part of.

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One response »

  1. I agree with you about anthropocentric worldview being the ideal perspective since it levels out lofty romanticist idealism with rational and more pragmatic yet anthropocentric views. I think it is important however to not reject romanticism, not that it necessarily holds a particularly strong foothold in the rationality and objectiveness required for technological advancement and thus better understanding of the environment. However, I believe that romanticism is somewhat misunderstood– I think we’re all a bit romantic when it comes to thinking of our relationship with the environment (see biophilia!) we’re biologically inclined to love the environment and although a lot of it can be explained through psychology/survival motivations, a lot of the particulars are less explainable and give our reverence to the environment that much more unique, adding value to our resources and thus giving us more of a reason to conserve them.

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