This article outlines the seven essential types of argument that can be put forward for protecting natural phenomena or natural resources. This is done against the background of certain ontological assumptions about nature and wilderness, about the concept of protection itself and with reference to different theoretical approaches (“paradigms”) in environmental ethics. The seven forms of argumentation outlined here involve different perspectives on the value of nature: dependence on natural resources, forms of experience of the good life, future responsibility in respect of nature, the intrinsic moral value of certain natural phenomena, virtuous attitudes, so-called ecosophical world views and religious approaches. In the medium of these arguments, a relationship to nature based one-sidedly on control and usage can be broadened and corrected. This reconstruction of arguments enables all persons interested in environmental ethics to independently develop a justifiable and well-grounded conception of environmental ethics.
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