Biodiversity eliminativism

Authored by: Carlos Santana

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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In this chapter 1 I defend biodiversity eliminativism, the thesis that biodiversity should not be the principal object of conservation. My argument is simple. The principal role played by the concept biodiversity in conservation biology is as a comparative measure of value. Biodiversity does not fulfill that role well, in part because it is not a straightforwardly measurable quantity. Moreover, it does not fulfill that role well because it does not closely track ecological value, the aggregate of values we place in the environment. Given these failures to fulfill its conceptual role, we should eliminate the biodiversity concept from its central place in conservation biology, in favor of using more direct assessments of ecological value as our primary comparative measures in conservation.

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