The land ethic: A critical appraisal

Environmental Ethics 4 (3):235-247 (1982)
Abstract
Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” centers on the maxim: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” I contribute to the critical appraisal of this maxim by providing answers to the following questions: (1) what is referred to by the phrase “the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community”? (2) What “things” tend to preserve or threaten the integrity, stability, and beauty ofthe biotic community? (3) Are the integrity, stability, and beauty ofthe biotic community goods such that preserving them is right and failing to do so wrong?
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