ecocentrism

[ ek-oh-sen-triz-uh m, ee-koh- ]
/ ˌɛk oʊˈsɛn trɪz əm, ˌi koʊ- /

noun

a philosophy or perspective that places intrinsic value on all living organisms and their natural environment, regardless of their perceived usefulness or importance to human beings.

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decorum

Origin of ecocentrism

OTHER WORDS FROM ecocentrism

ec·o·cen·tric, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does ecocentric mean?

A philosophy or policy is ecocentric if it places value and importance on the entire environment and all life in it, not just the parts that are useful to humans. More broadly, ecocentric means “focused on the environment.”

In the context of environmental ethics, an ecocentric view is one that holds that Earth’s ecology and ecosystems (including its atmosphere, water, land, and all life forms) have intrinsic value—meaning they should be protected and valued even if they can’t be used by humans as resources.

Example: Truly ecocentric policies will allow threatened ecosystems to remain undeveloped and even unused for recreational purposes.

Where does ecocentric come from?

Ecocentric is composed of the prefix eco-, referring generally to the environment and nature, and -centric, meaning “focused around.” Its first uses are recorded around the 1970s.

Ecologist Aldo Leopold was a major figure in the development of early ecocentric thought in the 1940s. Even today, ecocentric philosophy draws inspiration from his work, which promoted environmental management and a focus on the interconnectedness of ecosystems. Ecocentrism was further popularized in the 1990s and continues to be a topic of discussion along with the rise of “green” (environmentally friendly) politics.

Ecocentrism and environmentalism are not necessarily synonymous—some forms of environmentalism may be considered ecocentric, while others may be more focused on preserving the environment specifically for human use. In this way, ecocentric thought is often seen as a contrast to anthropocentric (human-centered) philosophies.

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What are some other forms of ecocentric?

What are some words that share a root or word element with ecocentric?

What are some words that often get used in discussing ecocentric?

What are some words ecocentric may be commonly confused with?

How is ecocentric used in real life?

Discussion of ecocentric thought often surrounds the topics of sustainability and environmentalism, especially as they relate to climate change.

 

 

Try using ecocentric!

Which of the following is NOT an example of an ecocentric policy?

A. Investing in ecosystem management of threatened lands
B. Developing land for fossil fuel production
C. Passing legislation to protect endangered species
D. Preserving lands in their wild state

British Dictionary definitions for ecocentric

ecocentric
/ (ˌiːkəʊˈsɛntrɪk) /

adjective

having a serious concern for environmental issuesecocentric management
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012