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Understanding ‘Interdependence’ in Ecology: Implications for Environmental EthicsAldo 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.
Roberta L. Millstein
University of California, Davis