David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):89-112 (2002)
Advocates of an environmental ethic frequently claim that what makes an ethical theory truly and uniquely environmental is its commitment to the principle that environmental wholes such as species, ecosystems, and biotic communities are morally considerable. The prevailing view is that our primary duty towards these wholes is to respect their integrity, stability, and beauty, and that the best way to do this is to leave them alone, not interfere with them, and let nature follow its own course. But is that correct? Why should be refrain from interfering with nature?There are two ways an environmentalist might try to justify an exceptionaless, prima facie principle of noninterference. First, she might claim that there is a contingent but universal connection between human interference and ecosystemic harm. There is also an epistemic variant of this view. When faced with a decision concerning whether to interfere with an ecosystem, there will always be overwhelming reasons for thinking that interference will be harmful, regardless of the specific circumstances. Send, there might be some conceptual connection between interference and harm to ecosystems. For example, if the well-being of an ecosystem is identified with its wildness, and wildness is understood as the absence of human intervention or manipulation, then any human interference necessarily detracts from an ecosystem's wildness and thereby has a detrimental effect on its well-being. In this paper I examine these justifications in detail and argue that none can support an exceptionaless principle of noninterference.
|Keywords||ecosystem health ecosystemic harm environmental ethics interference|
|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
Martin Drenthen (2009). Fatal Attraction. Wildnes in Contemporary Film. Environmental Ethics 31 (3):297-315.
Bruce Morito (1999). Examining Ecosystem Integrity. Environmental Ethics 21 (1):59-73.
H. P. P. Lotter (2005). Should Humans Interfere in the Lives of Elephants? Koers 70 (4):775-813.
R. Edward Grumbine (1994). Wildness, Wise Use, and Sustainable Development. Environmental Ethics 16 (3):227-249.
Kenneth H. Simonsen (1981). The Value of Wildness. Environmental Ethics 3 (3):259-263.
Mark Sagoff (2005). Do Non-Native Species Threaten the Natural Environment? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):215-236.
Paul W. Taylor (1981). The Ethics of Respect for Nature. Environmental Ethics 3 (3):197-218.
John Martin Gillroy (1998). Kantian Ethics and Environmental Policy Argument: Autonomy, Ecosystem Integrity, and Our Duties to Nature. Ethics and the Environment 3 (2):131 - 155.
Ernest Partridge (1984). Nature as a Moral Resource. Environmental Ethics 6 (2):101-130.
Mark A. Michael (2001). How to Interfere with Nature. Environmental Ethics 23 (2):135-154.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #262,863 of 1,099,562 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #186,306 of 1,099,562 )
How can I increase my downloads?