Get What’s So Good About Biodiversity?: A Call for Better PDF

By Donald S. Maier

There has been a deluge of fabric on biodiversity, ranging from a trickle again within the mid-1980's. despite the fact that, this ebook is fullyyt particular in its remedy of the subject. it's distinct in its meticulously crafted, scientifically educated, philosophical exam of the norms and values which are on the center of discussions approximately biodiversity. And it's specific in its standpoint, that's the 1st to comprehensively problem winning perspectives approximately biodiversity and its worth. in keeping with these dominant perspectives, biodiversity is a very great thing – so sturdy that it has turn into the logo of normal worth. The book's broader function is to take advantage of biodiversity as a lens wherein to view the character of ordinary worth. It first examines, on their lonesome phrases, the arguments for why biodiversity is meant to be a superb factor. This dialogue cuts a truly large and exact swath during the medical, financial, and environmental literature. It unearths most of these arguments to be heavily short of. Worse, those arguments seem to have outcomes that are supposed to dismay and perplex so much environmentalists. The ebook then turns to a deeper research of those disasters and means that they outcome from posing worth questions from inside of a framework that's irrelevant for nature's price. It concludes with a unique advice for framing typical price. This new suggestion avoids the pitfalls of those that be triumphant within the merchandising of biodiversity. And it exposes the ambitions of conservation biology, recovery biology, and the world's greatest conservation businesses as badly ill-conceived.

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Extra info for What’s So Good About Biodiversity?: A Call for Better Reasoning About Nature’s Value

Example text

Nor is it fine to merely transfer the normative weight of such a term as “health” to yet another normatively loaded term such as “harm”. Both moves amount to moral evaluation by stipulative definition – an issue that this book revisits a number of times, most saliently in Sect. 6 (What appropriate fit is not). Sterba (2001, 30) hits on the crux of the matter in his approving interpretation of Paul Taylor, to whom he attributes the position that … ecosystems should qualify as moral subjects since they can be benefited and harmed and have a good of their own, having features and interests not shared by their components.

Suppose that Taylor’s argument succeeds and individuals of all kinds (even nonconscious and pace Bentham and Singer, non-sentient ones) are found to merit moral respect. On the face of it, this value of individual organisms has little bearing on the question of whether a collection of individual organisms such as a species independently commands similar respect. Needless to say, the existence of the species is requisite for the existence of its individual members. Conversely, individuals could not exist but for the species to which they belong.

I have already suggested the answer to the question: Where would something such as biodiversity fit into this picture? As one among many preferred things, biodiversity, no matter how distinctive an instrument of human well-being, is a cipher indistinguishable from any other in the comprehensive accounting of all the ingredients that constitute or facilitate human well-being. This leads to the conundrum that the sacrifice of biodiversity could facilitate the development of another instrument of human welfare, which more than makes up for biodiversity’s contribution.

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