Peacock Scholarship

Why "Save the Whales"?: A Philosophical Examination of the Justifications of Conservation Biology

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One of the struggles within conservation biology is to justify the field and its objective to preserve biodiversity. The two main camps arguing in support of conservation biology are intrinsic value theorists and utilitarians. The theoretical problems accompanying these schools of thought and the absence of a solid ethical foundation have called for a new environmental ethic. In this thesis, I propose environmental virtue-based ethics as a constructive alternative to the false dichotomy presented by traditional perspectives in conservation biology. I will demonstrate that because of its ability to account for human interests alongside the wider consideration for biodiversity, while simultaneously avoiding the problems characteristic of the dominating intrinsic and instrumental value theories, Environmental Virtue-based Ethics (EVE) is uniquely poised to justify the goals of conservation biology.

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  • 10/23/2019
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