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The Infirm Ethical Foundations of Conservation

The Infirm Ethical Foundations of Conservation

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 The Infirm Ethical Foundations of Conservation
Source:
Ignoring Nature No More
Author(s):
John A. VucetichMichael P. Nelson
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226925363.003.0001

This chapter explores how to approach the three big questions of conservation and the consequences of failing to take them seriously. These questions are: (1) What is population viability and ecosystem health? (2) How does conservation relate to and sometimes conflict with other legitimate values in life, such as social justice, human liberty, and concern for the welfare of individuals and nonhuman animals? How should we resolve such conflicts? (3) Do populations and ecosystems deserve direct moral consideration? It demonstrates that conservation's meaning, purpose, and relationship to the rest of society are inadequately understood. It discusses the ethics of control and consequence; the ethics of virtue; and the purpose of conservation science and education.

Keywords:   conservation ethics, ecosystem health, population viability, virtue

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