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Ecosystem Health: Some Preventive Medicine

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Some ecologists, philosophers, and policy analysts believe that ecosystem health can be defined in a rigorous way and employed as a management goal in environmental policy. The idea of ecosystem health may have something to recommend it as part of a rhetorical strategy, but I am dubious about its utility as a technical term in environmental policy. I develop several objections to this latest version of scientism in environmental policy, and conclude that our environmental problems fundamentally involve problems in our institutions of governance, our systems of value, and our ways of knowing. These are the problems that most need to be addressed.
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Keywords: desire; ecosystem health; health; objectivity; preference; scientism; subjectivity; values

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-11-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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