An argument in favor of adopting a land ethic

Ethics and Animals, No. Acrobat version I To the prudential, humanitarian, utilitarian, and deontological arguments for vegetarianism, I would like to add an ecological argument.

An argument in favor of adopting a land ethic

This hanging involved no question of propriety. The girls were property. The disposal of property was then, as now, a matter of expediency, not of right and wrong. Concepts of right and wrong were not lacking from Odysseus' Greece: The ethical structure of that day covered wives, but had not yet been extended to human chattels.

During the three thousand years which have since elapsed, ethical criteria have been extended to many fields of conduct, with corresponding shrinkages in those judged by expediency only.

The upshot of Regan’s argument is that the respect-for-persons imperative, properly understood, requires that people respect all ESLs, whether they are human defended an egalitarian biocentric ethic. Taylor contended that by adopting the ultimate moral in favor of more radical holistic ethics such as Aldo Leopold’s land ethic and Arne. Bioregionalism and Cross-Cultural Dialogue on a Land Ethic RICHARD EVANOFF School of International Politics, Economics, and Communication, Aoyama Gakuin University, As Harmon notes, a ‘stance in favor of moral pluralism does not commit one to relativism’ (, p. ). -land ethic= the good of the biotic community as a whole (not its parts) -biotic community is the sole locus of intrinsic value (individuals are merely instrumental/ dependent) -morally acceptable: to hunt, to favor species, favor endangered species.

The Ethical Sequence This extension of ethics, so far studied only by philosophers, is actually a process in ecological evolution. Its sequence may be described in ecological as well as in philosophic terns.

An ethic, ecologically, is a limitation on freedom action in the struggle for existence. An ethic, philosophically is a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct.

These are two definitions of one thing. The thing has its origin in the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation. The ecologist calls fees symbioses.

[BINGSNIPMIX-3

Politics and economics are advanced syrnbioses in which the original free-for-all competition has been re placed, in part, by co-operative mechanisms with an ethical content.

The complexity of co-operative mechanisms has increase with population density, and with the efficiency of tools. It was simpler, for example, to define the anti-social uses sticks and stones in the days of the mastodons than of bullet and billboards in the age of motors.

The first ethics dealt with the relation between individuals; the Mosaic Decalogue is an example.

Responsibility defined

Later accretions dealt with the relation between the individual and society. The Golden Rule tries to integrate the individual to society, democracy to integrate social organization to the individual.

There is as yet no ethic dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it.

Land, like Odysseus' slave-girls, is still property. The land relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but no obligations. The extension of ethics to this third element in human environment is, if I read the evidence correctly, an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.

It is the third step in a sequence. The first two have already been taken. Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong.

Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belief. I regard the present conservation movement as the embryo of such an affirmation.

An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions, that the path of social expediency is not discernible to the average individual.

Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations. Ethics are possibly a kind of community instinct in-the-making. The Community Concept All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in that community, but his ethics prompt him also to co-operate perhaps in order that there may be a place to compete for.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter-skelter downriver.

Certainly not the waters, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage. Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye.

Certainly not the animals, of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species. A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these 'resources,' but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state.

Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic

In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such. In human history, we have learned I hope that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating.

Because it is implicit in such a role that the conqueror knows, ex cathedra, just what makes the community clock tick, and just what and who is valuable, and what and who is worth-less, in community life.

It always turns out that he knows neither, and this is why his conquests eventually defeat themselves.A land ethic is a philosophy or theoretical framework about how, ethically, humans should regard the land. The term was coined by Aldo Leopold (–) in his A Sand County Almanac (), a classic text of the environmental movement.

Can Aldo Leopold’s land ethic tackle our toughest problems? An argument for ‘voluntary decency.’. The upshot of Regan’s argument is that the respect-for-persons imperative, properly understood, requires that people respect all ESLs, whether they are human defended an egalitarian biocentric ethic.

An argument in favor of adopting a land ethic

Taylor contended that by adopting the ultimate moral in favor of more radical holistic ethics such as Aldo Leopold’s land ethic and Arne. In this light, the land ethic can be seen as an injunction to broaden our moral sentiments beyond self-interest, and beyond humanity to include the whole biotic community.

This, so the argument goes, bridges the gap between the descriptive and the prescriptive in Leopold’s thought. A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these 'resources,' but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in .

Aldo Leopold Essay Examples. 24 total results. An Analysis of the Land Ethics in Our Communities in the Article "The Land Ethic" words.

2 pages. An Argument in Favor of Adopting a Land Ethic.

A land ethic: Prairie dog policy changing?

words. 1 page. A Comparison of Views Between Aldo Leopold and Annie Dillard.

An argument in favor of adopting a land ethic

words. 2 pages.

Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic