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While the contemporary biomimicry movement is associated primarily with the idea of taking Nature as model for technological innovation, it also contains a normative or ethical principle—Nature as measure—that may be treated in relative isolation from the better known principle of Nature as model. Drawing on discussions of the principle of Nature as measure put forward by Benyus and Jackson, while at the same time situating these discussions in relation to contemporary debates in the philosophy of biomimicry : 364–387, 2011; Dicks in Philos Technol, doi: 10.1007/s13347-015-0210-2, 2015; Blok and Gremmen in J Agric Environ Ethics 29:203–217, 2016), the aim of this paper is to explore the relation between the principle of Nature as measure and environmental ethics. This leads to the argument that mainstream formulations of environmental ethics share the common trait of seeing our ethical relation to Nature as primarily involving duties to protect, preserve, or conserve various values in Nature, and that, in doing so, they problematically either overlook or dismiss as anthropocentric the possibility that Nature may provide measures, understood in terms of ecological standards, against which our own practices, or at least some of them, may be judged—a way of thinking I call “biomimetic ethics”. The practical consequences of this argument are significant. Whereas mainstream environmental ethics has been applied above all to such issues as wilderness preservation, natural resource management, and animal rights and welfare, biomimetic ethics is applicable rather to the question of how we produce, use, and consume things, and, as such, may potentially provide the basic ethical framework required to underpin the transition to a circular, bio-based, solar economy.
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-017-9667-6
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The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan & Mary Midgley - 1986 - The Personalist Forum 2 (1):67-71.
The Philosophy of Biomimicry.Henry Dicks - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (3):223-243.

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