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The Harm They Inflict When Values Conflict: Why Diversity Does not Matter

Julia Mosquera

Abstract


Some policies that manage natural processes have the purpose of conserving and/or promoting the diversity that exists in an ecosystem. On many occasions, these policies conflict with values such as individual wellbeing. This paper looks at this issue. It focuses first on clarifying the concept of diversity. Second, it looks at whether diversity has value, and what kind of value it may have. Finally, it argues that although diversity is valuable, it may be overridden in cases in which actual harms exceed future benefits. Therefore, policies that promote diversity should, in some cases, be abandoned.


Keywords


diversity; value; natural processes; ecosystems; non-human animals; wellbeing; prevention; harm; intervention; ecosystem collapse

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References


Faria, Catia. 2012. “Muerte entre las flores: el conflicto entre el ecologismo y la defensa de los intereses de los animales no humanos.” Viento Sur 165: 67-76.

Horta, Oscar. 2010. “The Ethics of the Ecology of Fear against the Nonspeciesist Paradigm: A Shift in the Aims of Intervention in Nature.” Between the Species 10: 163-187.

MacDougall, Andrew. S., Kevin S. McCann, Gabriel Gellner, and Ron Turkington. 2013. “Diversity Loss with Persistent Human Disturbance Increases Vulnerability to Ecosystem Collapse,” Nature 494: 86-89. doi: 10.1038/nature11869.

Mills, Scott L., Michael E. Soulé, and Daniel F. Doak. 1993. “The Keystone-species Concept in Ecology and Conservation.” BioScience 43 (4): 219-224.

Pearce, David. 2009. “Reprogramming Predators.” The Abolitionist Project. Retrieved from http://www.hedweb.com/abolitionist-project/reprogramming-predators.html.

Parfit, Derek. (1984) 1986. Reasons and Persons. Reprint, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

UNESCO. 2002. “UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.” Cultural Diversity Series 1. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001271/127162e.pdf.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2015-001-mosq




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Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196
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Executive Editor: Matteo Andreozzi
Managing Editor: Adele Tiengo
Associate Editors: Rod Bennison - Alma Massaro - Kim Stallwood - Jessica Ulrich
Consulting Editor: Leonardo Caffo
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board: Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Matthew R. Calarco - Gabriele Cambiotti - Piergiorgio Donatelli - Arianna Ferrari - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Piergiacomo Pagano - Paola Sobbrio - Sabrina Tonutti