David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Environmental Ethics 23 (2):135-154 (2001)
The principle that we should not interfere with nature plays a prominent role in both popular and academic accounts of environmental ethics. For example, it is often cited to justify the claims that we should not actively manage wilderness areas and that we should not extinguish naturally occurring fires in those areas. It is far from clear, however, exactly what that principle entails for our treatment of species and ecosystems. Does all human interaction with nature amount to interference? If there are different kinds of interference, are they all wrong? Might not there be such a thing as beneficial interference? Can one part of nature interfere with another, and if so, is it morally permissible or forbidden for humans to prevent this kind of interference? These questions can be answered only if we have a clear notion of interference. First, I examine one initially plausible account which takes it to be a kind of cause. One interferes with a species or ecosystem when one alters or redirects it. Second, I answer a crucial question that must be faced with regard to any theory that takes interference to be a kind of cause. If interference involves nothing more than having an effect on an ecosystem, then the activities of practically every species in an ecosystem interfere with it. However, these activities are usually thought of as legitimate or normal ecosystemic change, as essential components of the ecosystem, rather than as interference.Thus, some criterion must be proposed to distinguish between interference and the actions of other species which have an effect on an ecosystem but do not interfere with it. I look at a number of proposals and conclude that no one of them is uniquely correct. Rather, the criterion one employs to understand interference must be determined by one’s projects and goals
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nicole Hassoun (2008). Nanotechnology, Enhancement, and Human Nature. NanoEthics 2 (3):289-304.
Barry Ward (2007). The Natural Kind Analysis of Ceteris Paribus Law Statements. Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):359-380.
Guido Bacciagaluppi, The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Markus Schrenk (2011). Interfering with Nomological Necessity. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):577-597.
Alistair M. Macleod (2002). Freedom And The Role Of The State. Social Philosophy Today 18:139-150.
Alessandro Spena (2012). The Strange Case of the Protective Perimeter: Liberties and Claims to Non-Interference. [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 31 (2):161-184.
Victor Tadros (2007). Rethinking the Presumption of Innocence. Criminal Law and Philosophy 1 (2):193-213.
H. P. P. Lotter (2005). Should Humans Interfere in the Lives of Elephants? Koers 70 (4):775-813.
Mark A. Michael (2002). Why Not Interfere with Nature? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):89-112.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #246,719 of 1,793,096 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #344,170 of 1,793,096 )
How can I increase my downloads?