3 Approaches to biodiversity

Authored by: Sahotra Sarkar

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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The aim of this chapter is to propose a tentative classification of different approaches to defining “biodiversity.” While it will elaborate and implicitly defend one particular approach – what will be called “weak” or “local normativism” later – it will leave critique of other approaches (or sustained argument for this approach over the others) for some other occasion. It is thus largely an expository chapter, more akin to critical reviews in the sciences than to usual philosophical treatments which present sustained arguments for or against a position. There is one important caveat: unlike a full-fledged review, there is no attempt here to include all contributions to the problem of explicating biodiversity. Rather, citations are to representative instances in the literature on the topic and what appear to be the most innovative or influential sources.

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