By Sahotra Sarkar

This ebook explores the epistemological and moral concerns on the foundations of environmental philosophy, emphasising the conservation of biodiversity. Sahota Sarkar criticises makes an attempt to characteristic intrinsic price to nature and defends an anthropocentric place on biodiversity conservation in keeping with an untraditional inspiration of transformative worth. not like different experiences within the box of environmental philosophy, this e-book is as a lot thinking about epistemological matters as with environmental ethics. It covers a large variety of subject matters, together with difficulties of rationalization and prediction in conventional ecology and the way individual-based types and Geographic info structures (GIS) know-how is remodeling ecology. Introducing a short historical past of conservation biology, Sarkar analyses the consensus framework for conservation making plans via adaptive administration. He concludes with a dialogue of instructions for theoretical learn in conservation biology and environmental philosophy.

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13 There is the potential for immediacy in our response: many individuals feel the urge to stop them, the loggers and the fires. There is no longer the luxury to think, reflectively, that what is being observed now actually happened a while ago, and that, while such events may be unfortunate, nevertheless all that we are left with is the option of carefully considering policy alternatives in order to prevent future destruction. Strangely, many among us do not seem to have the same reactive response as we see cities being bombed as it happens.

21 Planet Earth is supposed to be similar to an airplane. Given an airplane in reasonably good condition, we can conclude that the loss of a single rivet will not make the plane unsafe. But if we allow that rivet to be lost, the argument goes, we will slither down a slippery slope. Sooner or later, the next rivet will be like the proverbial last straw that breaks the camel’s back. The plane will be doomed when we lose that rivet. Each species on Earth is supposed to be like one of these rivets.

But even this does not provide an argument for the preservation of every species. It only provides an argument for the preservation of keystone species. It may now be argued that we do not know which species are keystone species. That is often the case, but even then, as our knowledge grows, we will systematically lose any rationale for preserving more and more species because they will be known not to be keystone species. This is no argument for general biodiversity conservation. 24 The kernel of insight in this argument is that there may be many cases in which we do not know how critical a particular species is to the survival of a community.

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