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Justin Donhauser
Bowling Green State University
  1. Making Ecological Values Make Sense: Toward More Operationalizable Ecological Legislation.Justin Donhauser - 2016 - Ethics and the Environment 21 (2):1-25.
    Value claims about ecological entities, their functionality, and properties take center stage in so-called “ecological” ethical and aesthetic theories. For example, the claim that the biodiversity in an old-growth forest imbues it with “value in and for itself” is an explicit value claim about an ecological property. And the claim that one can study “the aesthetics of nature, including natural objects...such as ecosystems” presupposes that natural instances of a type of ecological entity exist and can be regarded as more or (...)
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  2.  52
    The Value of Weather Event Science for Pending UN Climate Policy Decisions.Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment (3):263-278.
    This essay furthers debate about the burgeoning science of Probabilistic Event Attribution (PEA) and its relevance to imminent climate policy decisions. It critically examines Allen Thompson and Friederike Otto’s recent arguments concerning the implications of PEA studies for how the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) policy framework should be revised during the 2016 ‘review and decision.’ I show that their contention that PEA studies cannot usefully inform decision-making about adaptation policies and strategies is misguided and argue that (...)
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  3.  49
    Informative Ecological Models Without Ecological Forces.Justin Donhauser - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2721-2743.
    Sagoff (2016) criticizes widely used “theoretical” methods in ecology; arguing that those methods employ models that rely on problematic metaphysical assumptions and are therefore uninformative and useless for practical decision-making. In this paper, I show that Sagoff misconstrues how such model-based methods work in practice, that the main threads of his argument are problematic, and that his substantive conclusions are consequently unfounded. Along the way, I illuminate several ways the model-based inferential methods he criticizes can be, and have been, usefully (...)
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  4. Theoretical Ecology as Etiological From the Start.Justin Donhauser - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:67-76.
    The world’s leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to various theoretical merits of doing so, it is therefore crucially important to clear up confusions about ecology’s conceptual foundations and to make plain the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role of teleological (...)
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  5. On How Theoretical Analyses in Ecology Can Enable Environmental Problem-Solving.Justin Donhauser - 2014 - Ethics and the Environment 19 (2):91.
    Environmental advisory institutions around the world assume that ecological theory can directly inform decision-making in environmental policy and natural resource management . Accordingly, theoretical ecological models are supposed to serve as reliable guides for adjudicating between policy and management alternatives. Leading ecologists even promise that TEMs can “provide a strong guide for environmental management and resource conservation” . At the same time, criticisms of theory-based policy and management have persisted since the 1970s—after the overall failure of the International ..
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  6.  37
    The Dawning of the Ethics of Environmental Robots.Justin Donhauser & Aimee van Wynsberghe - unknown - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (6):1777-1800.
    Environmental scientists and engineers have been exploring research and monitoring applications of robotics, as well as exploring ways of integrating robotics into ecosystems to aid in responses to accelerating environmental, climatic, and biodiversity changes. These emerging applications of robots and other autonomous technologies present novel ethical and practical challenges. Yet, the critical applications of robots for environmental research, engineering, protection and remediation have received next to no attention in the ethics of robotics literature to date. This paper seeks to fill (...)
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  7.  12
    The Problem of Mooted Models for Analyses of Microbiome Causality.Justin Donhauser, Sara Worley, Michael Bradie & Juan L. Bouzat - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):57.
    Lynch, Parke, and O’Malley highlight the need for better evaluative criteria for causal explanations in microbiome research. They propose new interventionist criteria, show that paradigmatic examples of microbiome explanations are flawed using those criteria, and suggest numerous ways microbiome explanations can be improved. While we endorse their primary criticisms and suggestions for improvements in microbiome research, we make several observations regarding the use of mooted causal models in microbiome research that have significant implications for their overall argument. In sum, we (...)
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  8.  38
    Ecological Historicity, Functional Goals, and Novelty in the Anthropocene.Justin Donhauser, Eric Desjardins & Gillian Barker - 2018 - Environmental Values.
    While many recognize that rigid historical and compositional goals are inadequate in a world where climate and other global systems are undergoing unprecedented changes, others contend that promoting ecosystem services and functions encourages practices that can ultimately lower the bar of ecological management. These worries are foregrounded in discussions about Novel Ecosystems (NEs); where some researchers and conservationists claim that NEs provide a license to trash nature as long as some ecosystem services are provided. This criticism arises from what we (...)
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  9.  7
    The Problem of Mooted Models for Analyses of Microbiome Causality.Justin Donhauser, Sara Worley, Michael Bradie & Juan L. Bouzat - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):1-6.
    Lynch, Parke, and O’Malley highlight the need for better evaluative criteria for causal explanations in microbiome research. They propose new interventionist criteria, show that paradigmatic examples of microbiome explanations are flawed using those criteria, and suggest numerous ways microbiome explanations can be improved. While we endorse their primary criticisms and suggestions for improvements in microbiome research, we make several observations regarding the use of mooted causal models in microbiome research that have significant implications for their overall argument. In sum, we (...)
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  10.  16
    Steps Toward an Ethics of Environmental Robotics.Justin Donhauser, Aimee van Wynsberghe & Alexander Bearden - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (3):507-524.
    New robotics technologies are being used for environmental research, and engineers and ecologists are exploring ways of integrating an array of different sorts of robots into ecosystems as a means of responding to the unprecedented environmental changes that mark the onset of the Anthropocene. These efforts introduce new roles that robots may play in our environments, potentially crucial new forms of human dependence on such robots, and new ways that robots can enhance life quality and environmental health. These efforts at (...)
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  11.  9
    The Dawning of the Ethics of Environmental Robots.Justin Donhauser & Aimee Wynsberghe - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (6):1777-1800.
    Environmental scientists and engineers have been exploring research and monitoring applications of robotics, as well as exploring ways of integrating robotics into ecosystems to aid in responses to accelerating environmental, climatic, and biodiversity changes. These emerging applications of robots and other autonomous technologies present novel ethical and practical challenges. Yet, the critical applications of robots for environmental research, engineering, protection and remediation have received next to no attention in the ethics of robotics literature to date. This paper seeks to fill (...)
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  12.  46
    Knowledge Transfer in Theoretical Ecology: Implications for Incommensurability, Voluntarism, and Pluralism.Justin Donhauser & Jamie Shaw - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 77:11-20.
    Well-known epistemologies of science have implications for how best to understand knowledge transfer (KT). Yet, to date, no serious attempt has been made explicate these particular implications. This paper infers views about KT from two popular epistemologies; what we characterize as incommensurabilitist views (after Devitt 2001; Bird 2002, 2008; Sankey and Hoyningen-Huene 2013) and voluntarist views (after van Fraassen 1984; Dupré 2001; Chakravartty 2015). We argue views of the former sort define the methodological, ontological, and social conditions under which research (...)
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  13.  25
    Ecological Historicity, Novelty and Functionality in the Anthropocene.Eric Desjardins, Justin Donhauser & Gillian Barker - 2019 - Environmental Values 28 (3):275-303.
    While many recognise that rigid historical and compositional goals are inadequate in a world where climate and other global systems are undergoing unprecedented changes, others contend that promoting ecosystem services and functions encourages practices that can ultimately lower the bar of ecological management. These worries are foregrounded in discussions about 'novel ecosystems' (NEs), where some researchers and conservationists claim that NEs provide a license to trash nature as long as certain ecosystem services are provided. This criticism arises from what we (...)
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  14. Differentiating and Defusing Theoretical Ecology's Criticisms: A Rejoinder to Sagoff's Reply to Donhauser (2016).Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:70-79.
    In a (2016) paper in this journal, I defuse allegations that theoretical ecological research is problematic because it relies on teleological metaphysical assumptions. Mark Sagoff offers a formal reply. In it, he concedes that I succeeded in establishing that ecologists abandoned robust teleological views long ago and that they use teleological characterizations as metaphors that aid in developing mechanistic explanations of ecological phenomena. Yet, he contends that I did not give enduring criticisms of theoretical ecology a fair shake in my (...)
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  15.  20
    Internalizing Negative Externalities of Carbon Emissions for Climate Justice.Justin Donhauser - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (2):131-134.
  16. Invisible Disagreement: An Inverted Qualia Argument for Realism.Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):593-606.
    Scientific realists argue that a good track record of multi-agent, and multiple method, validation of empirical claims is itself evidence that those claims, at least partially and approximately, reflect ways nature actually is independent of the ways we conceptualize it. Constructivists contend that successes in validating empirical claims only suffice to establish that our ways of modelling the world, our “constructions,” are useful and adequate for beings like us. This essay presents a thought experiment in which beings like us intersubjectively (...)
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  17.  48
    Endangered Species and Intrinsic Value: A Virtue-Centered Approach.Justin Donhauser - 2019 - Humanimalia 10 (2):237-249.
  18.  40
    How New Climate Science and Policy Can Help Climate Refugees.Justin Donhauser - 2018 - Journal of Ethical Urban Living 2 (1):1-21.
    This paper examines potential responses to emerging ‘climate refugee’ justice issues. ‘Climate refugee’ describes migrants forced to flee their homeland due to losses and damages brought about by events linked to global climate change. These include losses and damages due to extreme weather events, severe droughts and floods, sea-level rise, and an array of pollutant contamination issues. A paradigm case if climate refugeedom is seen in the influx of Peruvian immigrants into various North American cities; seeking asylum after losing access (...)
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  19.  37
    The Dangers of Replacing ‘Adaptation to Climate Change’ with ‘Resilient Solutions’.Justin Donhauser - 2018 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 21 (1):34-38.
  20. What Theoretical Ecology Reveals About Knowledge Transfer.Justin Donhauser & Jamie Shaw - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:1-20.
    Well-known epistemologies of science have implications for how best to understand knowledge transfer (KT). Yet, to date, no serious attempt has been made to explicate these particular implications. This paper infers views about KT from two popular epistemologies; what we characterize as incommensurabilitist views (after Devitt, 2001; Bird, 2002, 2008; Sankey and Hoyningen-Huene 2013) and voluntarist views (after Van Fraassen, 1984; Dupré, 2001; Chakravartty, 2015). We argue views of the former sort define the methodological, ontological, and social conditions under which (...)
     
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  21. A Philosophy of Theoretical Ecology for Environmental Policy.Justin Donhauser - 2015 - Dissertation, University at Buffalo
    This dissertation addresses two questions at the center of critical debate about ecology’s ability to provide scientific guidance in efforts to address mounting environmental problems. The first concerns whether and, if so, how theoretical ecological models (TEMs) can usefully inform environmental policy and resource management decision-making. The second concerns whether and, if so, in what manner the entities such models characterize (i.e., ecological populations, communities, and systems) exist. Throughout this work, I clarify how these questions are, and are not, related (...)
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  22.  4
    How to Make Value-Driven Climate Science for Policy More Ethical.Justin Donhauser - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89:31-40.
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  23.  7
    HCs and ASDs.Justin Donhauser - 2020 - Medical Hypotheses 141.
    This paper defends the hypothesis of a potential causal link between increased usage of hormonal contraceptives (HCs) and significant rises in instances of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) worldwide. It develops a background theory that supports this hypothesis through analysis of: observed correlations between increased usage of HCs and increased instances of ASDs; consistent evidence from independent studies linking “birth spacing” intervals and ASD-risk; evidence from studies on the effects of HCs on folate and B12 absorption; and hypotheses concerning disruptions to (...)
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