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Debunking Myths About Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

Millstein, Roberta L. (2017) Debunking Myths About Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Aldo Leopold’s land ethic has been extremely influential among people working in conservation biology, environmental ethics, and related fields. Others have abandoned the land ethic for purportedly being outdated or ethically untenable. Yet, both acceptance of the land ethic and rejection of the land ethic are often based on misunderstandings of Leopold’s original meaning – misunderstandings that have become so entrenched as to have the status of myths. This essay seeks to identify and then debunk six myths that have grown up around the land ethic. These myths include misunderstandings about how we should understand key terms like “stability” and “biotic community” as well as the scope and main message of the land ethic. Properly understanding Leopold’s original meaning, a meaning derived from ideas he developed after a lifetime of scientific theorizing and hands-on practical knowledge, prevents hasty rejection and provides a sounder basis for conservation policy.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Millstein, Roberta L.rlmillstein@ucdavis.edu0000-0002-6493-6428
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Biological Conservation
Keywords: biotic community; ecosystem; environmental ethics; interdependence; Leopold; stability
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Depositing User: Dr. Roberta L. Millstein
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 15:20
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2017 15:20
Item ID: 14147
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Date: November 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14147

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