Anthropocentrism is also known by other names as humanocentrism, human-centeredness or human exceptionalism. It has something to do with attributing a special significance to humans in the universe.
According to the Environmental Ethics entry
of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy strong anthropocentrism
only assigns intrinsic value to human beings alone. So intrinsic value, whatever it would be, is captured in absolute terms and applied only to humans.
In weak anthropocentrism value assignment gets relative and quantitative by human beings representing greater amount of intrinsic value than any non-human things.
Ecological thinkers and environmental ethicists have a rather easy job finding traces of anthropocentrism in the works of canonical thinkers of Western philosophy.
Object-oriented ontology also attacks and rejects anthropocentrism and moves away from epistemological approaches.
When working out bits and pieces of Open Lifespan philosophy I am looking for a narrow subset of statements and arguments that are coherent with each other but also compatible with many different philosophical positions. In short, am walking on a thin line realising the novelty and focus of this endeavour and considering ways to make it more defensible.
When it comes to ecological thought I have already tried to establish connections to this line of thinking/tradition from Open Lifespan, see Open Lifespan & ecological awareness: scaling up to become global humans ,Wanted: a Global Healthy Longevity report a la IPCC study on Global Warming of 1.5ºC and most importantly Individual Open Lifespan Trajectories as hyperobjects
Although I’m obviously talking about human longevity in the first place when describing and problematising Open Lifespan, it might come as a surprise that the current expressed views here in this blog do not rely on strong anthropocentrism or assume it to be a correct or relevant view. The reasons provided favouring Open Lifespan do not assume that only humans represent intrinsic value in the universe.
By anthropocentrism, I mean the 2 versions expressed above, strong and weak. I think the label anthropocentrism loses its usefulness (meaning?) if it is applied to any philosophy that starts with or deals with exclusively human matters. In this case the label gets empty or just simply neutral enough as it cannot be used anymore to formulate critical arguments against such philosophies.
Additionally, the formulation of Open Lifespan as open-ended, indefinite lifespan does not even have ‘human’ specified in it.
Which opens up the theoretical possibility of this kind of philosophy and the underlying technology working towards lengthening the lifespan of non-human individuals and other living forms too. Interestingly, science effectively does this already by increasing the maximum lifespan of lab animals (manyfold) including several different species. I stop here and I discuss weak anthropocentrism later and also will investigate deeper definitions of the strong and weak versions.