Treich, Nicolas (2022) The Dasgupta Review and the problem of anthropocentrism. Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 81 (n°3).

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Identification Number : 10.1007/s10640-022-00663-4


As is customary in economics, the Dasgupta Review on the economics of biodiversity adopts an anthropocentric approach: that is, among the millions of species on Earth, the Review accords a moral value to only one species; ours. Building on the literature in ethics, I explain why it is morally problematic to assume that other species – at least, sentient animals – only have an instrumental value for humans. The Review defends its approach, but I advance counter arguments. I highlight that preserving the diversity of life in ecosystems is not the same as taking care of the wellbeing of sentient species living in those ecosystems. Some biodiversity policies, such as protecting the blue whale or reducing meat consumption, largely satisfy both nthropocentric and non‐anthropocentric objectives. Other policies, such as the reintroduction of wolves or the eradication of invasive species, induce conflicts between these objectives. I finally discuss why the anthropocentric view remains prevalent in the research on biodiversity and present some potential non‐anthropocentric research directions

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: 7 March 2022
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Dordrecht
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biodiversity, environmental economics, anthropocentrism, animal welfare, sentience, conservation.
JEL Classification: I30 - General
Q18 - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
Q20 - General
Q51 - Valuation of Environmental Effects
Z00 - General
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2022 07:38
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 10:15
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