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Metrics in Biodiversity Conservation and the Value-Free Ideal

Bocchi, Federica (2024) Metrics in Biodiversity Conservation and the Value-Free Ideal. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper examines one aspect of the legacy of the Value-Free Ideal in conservation science: the view that measurements and metrics in conservation are value-free epistemic tools detached from ideological, ethical, social, and, generally, non-epistemic considerations. Contrary to this view, I will argue that traditional measurement practices entrenched in conservation are in fact permeated with non-epistemic values. I challenge the received view by revealing three non-epistemic assumptions underlying traditional metrics: 1) a human-environment demarcation, 2) the desirability of a people-free landscape, and 3) the exclusion of cultural diversity from biodiversity. I also draw a connection between arguments for retaining traditional metrics to “scientific colonialism,” exemplified by a fortress conservation model. I conclude by advocating for abandoning the myth of the intrinsic value-freedom of measurement practices and embracing metrics aligned with societal and scientific goals.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bocchi, Federicafederica.bocchi@ind.ku.dk0000-0002-9456-5920
Additional Information: forthcoming in Synthese
Keywords: value-free ideal, biodiversity conservation, critical metrology, scientific colonialism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
Depositing User: Federica Federica Bocchi
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2024 17:19
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2024 17:19
Item ID: 23136
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Environmental Science
Date: 2024
URI: https://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/23136

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