Environmental Paradigms: Moving Toward an Ecocentric Perspective

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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.

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