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The belief that humans hold a special place in nature; begin centered primarily on humans and human affairs.


The belief that all creatures have rights and values; being centered on nature rather than humans.

Blind Experiments

Those in which those carrying out the experiment don't know until after data has been gathered and analyzed which was the experimental treatment and which was the control.

Controlled Studies

Those in which comparisons are made between experimental and control populations that are identical (as far as possible) in every factor except the one variable being studied.

Deductive Reasoning

Deriving testable predictions about specific cases from general principles.

Double-blind Design

One in which neither the experimenter or the subjects know until after data has been gathered and analyzed which was the experimental treatment and which was the control.


A pluralistic, nonhierarchical, relationship-oriented philosophy that suggests how humans could reconceive themselves and their relationships to nature in non-dominating ways as an alternative to patriarchal system of domination.

Environmental Ethics

A search for moral values and ethical principles in human relations with the natural world.

Environmental Justice

A recognition that access to a clean, healthy environment is a fundamental right of all human beings.

Environmental Racism

Decisions that restrict certain people or groups of people to polluted or degraded environments on the basis of race.


A provisional explanation that can be tested scientifically.

Inductive Reasoning

Inferring general principles from specific examples.

Inherent Value

Ethical values or rights, that exist as an intrinsic or essential characteristic of a particular thing or class of things simply by the fact of their existence.

Instrumental Value

Value or worth of objects that satisfy the needs and wants of moral agents. Objects that can be used as a means to some desirable end.


Locally Unwanted Land Uses such as toxic waste dumps, incinerators, smelters, airports, freeways, and other sources of environmental, economic or social degradation.

Moral Agents

Beings capable of making distinctions between right or wrong and acting accordingly. Those who hold responsible for their actions.

Moral Extensionism

Expansion of our understanding of inherent value or rights to persons, organisms, or things that might not be considered worthy or value or rights under some ethical philosophies.

Moral Subjects

Beings that are not capable of distinguishing between right or wrong or that are not able to act on moral principles and yet are capable of being wronged by others.


A set of ethical principles that guide our actions and relationships.


Those who believe the world has no meaning or purpose other than a dark, cruel, unceasing struggle for power and existence.


A model that provides framework for interpreting observations.


If two explanations appear equally plausible, choose the simpler one.


Those who believe moral principles are always dependent on the particular situation.


Making an observation or obtaining a particular result more than once.


A process for producing knowledge.

Scientific Theory

An explanation, supported by many tests and accepted by a general concensus of scientists.

Significant Numbers

Meaningful numbers whose accuracy can be verified.


A philosophy that holds that humans have a unique responsibility to manage, care for, and improve nature.

Toxic Colonialism

Shipping toxic wastes to a weaker or poorer nation.


Those who believe that some fundamental ethical principles are universal and unchanging. In this vision, these principles are valid regardless of the context or situation.


Those who hold that an action is right that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people.


A estimation of worth of things; a set of ethical beliefs and preferences that determine our sense of right and wrong.

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