What good is it, anyway?

Authored by: J. Baird Callicott

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138827738
eBook ISBN: 9781315530215
Adobe ISBN: 9781315530208


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Many of my colleagues in ecology and conservation biology – and, indeed, many of my colleagues in environmental philosophy – think that intrinsic value is an exotic concept: new, mysterious, abstract, elusive (Shrader-Frechette 1981, Collar 2003). Nothing could be further from the truth. While the name may be new or at least unfamiliar and its referent may be unclear, the thing itself is familiar to everyone and something that, under the right circumstances, rushes palpably to the forefront of consciousness. Edwin P. (“Phil”) Pister – until his retirement, an Associate Fishery Biologist in the California Department of Fish and Game – tells a story that very nicely makes my point.

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