Weighing Species

Environmental Ethics 33 (2):185-196 (2011)
Richness theory offers an alternative to the paradigms that have dominated the short history of environmental ethics as a self-conscious field. This alternative theoretical paradigm defines intrinsic value as “richness”—a synonym for “organic unity” or “unity in diversity.” Richness theory can handily reconcile two kinds of ideas that seem to be in tension with each other:that (1) an individual human being has a greater worth than an individual organism of just about any other species; and (2) yet the world would be a better place with substantially fewer humans and/or less consumption per capita, thus leaving more resources for other species.The mutual compatibility of such ideas within the framework of richness theory can be demonstrated both verbally and through a simplified mathematical model
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