Cristine Rojas Article 5: “Land Ethic” Aldo Leopold April 16, 2017 Authors Note: Aldo Leopold Aldo Leopold is most notably known for by many to be “the father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system, Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast.” 1 His most famous writing which was published posthumously, “Land Ethic” that is considered to be an example of what an ethical, caring relationship between people and nature should be. Article #4 “Land Ethic” 1 Source:
Notes: ● Humans exist within an integrated community of life that asl includes other animals, plants, rocks, soils, and waters. ● Leopold called this the “biotic community” or “the land” humans are “plain members and citizens” of the community ● Humans are morally obligated to act consistently with the long-term welfare of this community ● “Land health” is the conclusion of community functions that are ecologically synthesized ● Leopold’s Ethic extends moral value beyond human communities to cover collections of living things and ecosystems ● He invited others to embrace ethical stances that respect nature in lifelong effort to motivate people, to live in ways that are sustainable ● He criticized excessive predator control and pushed for measures to protect predators ● Five overlapping issues: ○ What is the origin of the moral norm? ○ How well does his concern for the land community fit with morals for humans and non-humans? ○ What does he mean by preserving the biotic community’s “integrity, stability, and beauty”? ○ How can this ethic gain attention over time? ○ Is his view now irrelevant, due to increased understanding of the functions of nature? ● Focused his work on the welfare between the community and its members ● His ethical thinking was more of a rule of conduct governing behavior ● His thoughts on wildlife conservation were more leaning toward habitat conservation ● His land ethic was non-anthropocentric and holistic ● He considered the health of the overall community essential to long-term success of human well- being ● He called for human ecological awakening, where humans become fully aware of what they are doing to the biotic and stop what they are doing to fix the problems ● Some philosophers ignored Leopold’s ethic based on “moral considerability could never attach as Leopold seemed to propose, to an intangible aggregate such as the land community” ●
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