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Environmental Paradigms: Moving Toward an Ecocentric Perspective

Kleffel, Dorothy RN, MPH, DNSc

Advances in Nursing Science: June 1996 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 1-10
Environment and Health

This article examines a taxonomy of three environmental paradigms.The egocentric paradigm is grounded in the person and is based on the assumption that what is good for the individual is good for society. The homocentric paradigm is grounded in society and reflects the utilitarian ethic of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The ecocentric paradigm is grounded in the cosmos, and the environment is considered whole, living, and interconnected. Historically, nurses have adhered primarily to the egocentric paradigm and to a lesser extent to the homocentric paradigm. However, because the world has become a global community, contemporary nurse scholars are shifting to the ecocentric paradigm.

Adjunct Faculty, School of Nursing, University of San Diego, San Diego, California, School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California.

The author thanks Diane Hatton, DNSc, and Kathleen Heinrich, PhD, for their review of an earlier version of this article.

Copyright © 1996 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.