Elements of Environmental Ethics in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Munamato Chemhuru


In this article, I consider how ancient Greek philosophical thinking might be approached differently if the environmental ethical import that is salient in it is critically considered. After pointing out how environmental ethics is generally construed in much of the discourse on current philosophical thinking, I spell out some unexplored elements of anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmental ethical thinking that are implicit in ancient Greek philosophy. I seek to critically challenge some common notions in Western environmentalism that take environmental ethics as a fairly new discourse of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Ultimately, I suggest that ancient Greek philosophical thinking ought to be judiciously interpreted from an environmental-ethical perspective. Overall, I critically interrogate elements of both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmentalism in ancient Greek thinking, with the intention to examine the contribution of ancient Greek philosophy to environmental ethical thinking.


Environment; ethics; environmental ethics;ancient Greek philosophy

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