The Idea of Biodiversity: Philosophies of Paradise
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Johns Hopkins University Press (1996)
"At places distant from where you are, but also uncomfortably close," writes David Takacs, "a holocaust is under way. People are slashing, hacking, bulldozing, burning, poisoning, and otherwise destroying huge swaths of life on Earth at a furious pace." And a cadre of ecologists and conservation biologists has responded, vigorously promoting a new definition of nature: biodiversity--advocating it in Congress and on the Tonight Show; whispering it into the ears of foreign leaders redefining the boundaries of science and politics, ethics and religion, nature and our ideas of nature. These scientists have infused the environmental movement with new focus and direction, but by engaging in such activities, they jeopardize the societal trust that allows them to be public spokespersons for nature in the first place. The Idea of Biodiversity analyzes what biodiversity represents to the biologists who operate in broader society on its behalf, drawing on in-depth interviews with the scientists most active today in the mission to preserve biodiversity, including Peter Raven, Thomas Lovejoy, Jane Lubchenco, and Paul Ehrlich. Takacs explores how and why these biologists shaped the concept of biodiversity and promoted it to society at large--examining their definitions of biodiversity their opinions about spirituality and its role in scientific work the notion of biodiversity as something of intrinsic value and their views on biophilia, E. O. Wilson's idea that humans are genetically predisposed to love nature. Takacs also looks at the work of twentieth-century forerunners of today's conservation biologists--Aldo Leopold, Charles S. Elton, Rachel Carson, David Ehrenfeld--and points out their contributions to the current debates. He takes readers to Costa Rica, where a group of scientists is using biodiversity to remake nature and society. And in an extended section, he profiles the thoughts and work of E. O. Wilson. "When I'm asked, 'should we save this species orthat species, or this place or that place?' the answer is always 'Yes!' with an exclamation point. Because it's obvious . And if you ask me to justify it, then I switch into a more cognitive consciousness and can start giving you reasons, economic reasons, aesthetic reasons. They're all dualistic, in a sense. But the feeling that underlies it is that 'yes!' And that 'yes!' comes out of the affirmation of being part of it all, being part of this whole evolutionary process. And agreeing with Arne Naess that each species, each entity, should be allowed to continue its evolution and to live out its destiny... just do its thing, as we say. Why not? And the 'why not?' is there's too many people."--Michael E. Soule, from an interview in The Idea of Biodiversity "An important contribution, a first distanced examination of a critical, modern topic by a scholarly, honest broker."--E. O. Wilson, Harvard University.
|Keywords||Biodiversity conservation Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$25.45 used (47% off) $50.39 new Amazon page|
|Call number||QH75.T235 1996|
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
Thaddeus R. Miller & Mark W. Neff (2013). De-Facto Science Policy in the Making: How Scientists Shape Science Policy and Why It Matters (or, Why STS and STP Scholars Should Socialize). Minerva 51 (3):295-315.
Mark Sagoff (2005). Do Non-Native Species Threaten the Natural Environment? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 18 (3):215-236.
Christophe Malaterre (2013). Microbial Diversity and the “Lower-Limit” Problem of Biodiversity. Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):219-239.
Elizabeth Fitting (2006). Importing Corn, Exporting Labor: The Neoliberal Corn Regime, GMOs, and the Erosion of Mexican Biodiversity. [REVIEW] Agriculture and Human Values 23 (1):15-26.
Håkon Stokland (2015). Field Studies in Absentia: Counting and Monitoring From a Distance as Technologies of Government in Norwegian Wolf Management. Journal of the History of Biology 48 (1):1-36.
Similar books and articles
Kathryn Paxton George (1988). Biodiversity and Biotechnology. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 1 (3):175-192.
Helena Siipi (2007). Naturalness in Biodiversity Management. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:173-178.
John Hintz (2007). Some Political Problems for Rewilding Nature. Ethics, Place and Environment 10 (2):177 – 216.
Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Markku Oksanen (2007). Species Extinction and Collective Responsibility. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:179-183.
Sahotra Sarkar (2006). Ecological Diversity and Biodiversity as Concepts for Conservation Planning: Comments on Ricotta. Acta Biotheoretica 54 (2):133-140.
Sahotra Sarkar (2002). Defining “Biodiversity”; Assessing Biodiversity. The Monist 85 (1):131-155.
James Maclaurin & Kim Sterelny (2008). What is Biodiversity? University of Chicago Press.
Markku Oksanen & Juhani Pietarinen (eds.) (2004). Philosophy and Biodiversity. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #553,718 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?