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Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda

Schmidt, Jeremy J.; Brown, Peter G.; Orr, Christopher J.

Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda Thumbnail


Peter G. Brown

Christopher J. Orr


The quantitative evidence of human impacts on the Earth System has produced new calls for planetary stewardship. At the same time, numerous scholars reject modern social sciences by claiming that the Anthropocene fundamentally changes the human condition. However, we cannot simply dismiss all previous forms of cultural learning or transmission. Instead, this paper examines ethics in the Anthropocene, and specifically what it implies for: (1) reassessing our normative systems in view of human impacts on the Earth System; (2) identifying novel ethical problems in the Anthropocene; and (3) repositioning traditional issues concerning fairness and environmental ethics. It concludes by situating ethics within the challenge of connecting multiple social worlds to a shared view of human and Earth histories and calls for renewed engagement with ethics.


Schmidt, J. J., Brown, P. G., & Orr, C. J. (2016). Ethics in the Anthropocene: A research agenda. Anthropocene Review, 3(3), 188-200.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 27, 2016
Publication Date Dec 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 19, 2017
Journal Anthropocene Review
Print ISSN 2053-0196
Electronic ISSN 2053-020X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 3
Pages 188-200


Accepted Journal Article (336 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Schmidt, Jeremy J. and Brown, Peter G. and Orr, Christopher J. (2016) 'Ethics in the Anthropocene : a research agenda.', The Anthropocene review., 3 (3). pp. 188-200. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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