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Defending a Leopoldian basis for biodiversity: a response to Newman, Varner, and Linquist

Millstein, Roberta L. (2020) Defending a Leopoldian basis for biodiversity: a response to Newman, Varner, and Linquist. Biology & Philosophy, 35 (12). ISSN 1572-8404

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Abstract

In their book, Defending Biodiversity, Newman, Varner, and Linquist (NVL) cast doubt on whether Leopoldian defenses of biodiversity, in their current form, have been successful. I argue that there is a more accurate interpretation of Leopold that is not subject to the criticisms made by NVL, and that Leopold’s body of work as a whole, including but not limited to the essay “The Land Ethic” in A Sand County Almanac, provides quite a bit of useful guidance and perspective. I begin with a brief summary of some of my own recent work on Leopold. This is intended to orient the reader who is more familiar with J. Baird Callicott’s influential interpretations of Leopold. I then discuss NVL’s Chapter 10 first followed by a discussion of their Chapter 9, responding to their critiques. I then conclude. On the revised interpretation that I have given, Leopold’s land ethic is defended by the method of reflective equilibrium, showing us that the land communities that we are interdependent with have intrinsic value, necessitating preserving their (land) health, which in turn necessitates preserving biodiversity.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Millstein, Roberta L.rlmillstein@ucdavis.edu0000-0002-6493-6428
Keywords: Aldo Leopold · Biodiversity · Communities · Interdependence · Land ethic · Land health
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
Depositing User: Dr. Roberta L. Millstein
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 00:09
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2020 00:09
Item ID: 16810
Journal or Publication Title: Biology & Philosophy
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10539-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-019-9724-9
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
Date: January 2020
Volume: 35
Number: 12
ISSN: 1572-8404
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16810

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