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Listening to the Birds: A Pragmatic Proposal for Forestry

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Recently, natural scientists have begun to support an interpretive turn in ecology. Yet the ethical implications of interpreting nature have not been sufficiently addressed. In this essay, I use different interpretations of nature to make three distinct but related points relevant to forestry: (1) ecological narratives should be evaluated on the basis of ethical norms, (2) the choice of which interpretations of nature and ethical norms to use in environmental policy should be conducted by a process of public deliberation, and (3) scientific narratives should be denied a priori privilege over non-scientific interpretations of nature for policy purposes.

Keywords: ethics; forestry; interpretation; responsibility; scientific norms

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2008

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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 an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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