PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Understanding ‘Interdependence’ in Ecology: Implications for Environmental Ethics

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, an extremely influential view in environmental ethics and conservation biology, is committed to the claim that interdependence among humans and other species plays a central role in our ethical responsibilities. Thus, a robust understanding of what “interdependence” means is necessary for evaluating the viability of the Land Ethic and the ecological claims that underlie it. I will argue that interdependence ought to include both negative and positive causal relations. I will also show that strength of interdependence varies with time and space, which would dictate caution in apportioning causal duties on that basis.

Author Information:

Roberta L. Millstein    
University of California, Davis


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