Living a Non-Anthropocentric Future


  • Gennady Shkliarevsky Bard College


Anthropocentricism, Ecocentricism, Climate Change, The Judeo-Christian tradition, The process of Creation, Social practice, Exclusion


Abstract: The climate change is one of the most contentious issues discussed in the public arena today. Environmental activists contend that the climate change is not an act of nature or God but is a result of human actions. Environmental critics do not see the degradation of the environment as merely a result of wrongheaded or misguided policies. Their critique goes much deeper. For many environmental activists, this degradation of reflects a fundamental flaw that is deeply rooted in our culture. They identify this flaw as anthropocentrism, or a worldview that assigns to humans and human values the primary place in the cosmic order. Their proposed solution is to reject this worldview and adopt a new egalitarian vision in which humans and the rest of nature will have equal value.

This article agrees with the view that anthropocentrism presents a real problem for our civilization. However, it takes a much broader approach to this problem that goes beyond the critique of environmentalists. First, it sees that the source of anthropocentrism lies much deeper than the environmentalists think. The source is the pattern in human thinking that emerged when early humans began to walk the face of this earth. Early humans did not see the important role of the process of creation in the way they perceive, interpret, and represent reality. The article explains the importance of the process of creation in the way we think. The article sees the source of anthropocentrism in the failure to recognize the importance of the process of creation and in the way this failure affects our thinking. This failure has resulted in a view of reality that is limited, exclusionary, and ultimately subjective. This failure has left humans no choice but to view reality through the prism of mental constructs that they create, which is the main source of anthropocentrism. Also, environmentalists see the problem of anthropocentrism primarily in its relationship to the environment. This article emphasizes that anthropocentrism is a broad phenomenon that affect many areas of our life.

Finally, the article examines major solutions that address the problem of anthropocentrism and offers their critique. It sees their principal common shortcoming in their exclusionary approach and outlines a new and inclusive approach.






How to Cite

Shkliarevsky, G. (2021). Living a Non-Anthropocentric Future. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 421–461. Retrieved from