Managing for Virtue

A debate has emerged among ecologists regarding the designation of novel ecosystems, systems so altered by human impacts that restoration to historic conditions is practically impossible. This article considers this debate from the perspective of environmental pragmatism, viewing it as a site where...

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Main Author: Thompson, Andrew R.H. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language: English
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Published: 2017
In: Worldviews
Year: 2017, Volume: 21, Issue: 2, Pages: 134-151
Further subjects: B novel ecosystems pragmatism pluralism virtue ethics
Online Access: Volltext
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520 |a A debate has emerged among ecologists regarding the designation of novel ecosystems, systems so altered by human impacts that restoration to historic conditions is practically impossible. This article considers this debate from the perspective of environmental pragmatism, viewing it as a site where fundamental views about the proper relationships of humans to their environments are being negotiated, albeit implicitly. The challenge, then, is to bring these negotiations to the fore, seeing human relationships as among the relevant characteristics considered in restoration decisions. It is argued that this need not lead to further confrontation; rather, the goal may be a workable moral pluralism, according to which different objectives are appropriate for different systems, but some shared fundamental orientation is assumed. Moreover, such an approach may be useful for a broad range of ecological decisions, beyond the debate over novel ecosystems. 
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