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- Values, Advocacy, and Conservation Biology

Values, Advocacy, and Conservation Biology

Jay Odenbaugh

Department of Philosophy University of California at San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive La Jolla, CA 92093-0119 (858)822-4461

In this essay, I examine the controversy concerning the advocacy of ethical values in conservation biology. First, I argue, as others have, that conservation biology is a science laden with values both ethical and non-ethical. Second, after clarifying the notion of advocacy at work, I contend that conservation biologists should advocate the preservation of biological diversity. Third, I explore what ethical grounds should be used for advocating the preservation of ecological systems by conservation biologists. I argue that conservation biologists should defend their preservationist positions on instrumentalist grounds alone if the context of discussion and debate is a scientific one. Key words: advocacy, conservation biology, values, preservation.

(In Environmental Values 12(2003): 55-69)

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