Citation

Existence, Action, and Value: The Ethics of Preservation and the Humpback Chub

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Abstract:

"What good is the humpback chub, anyway?"

When critics of environmental protection and species preservation efforts ask questions like this, they inquire after the instrumental value of the humpback chub. They mean to ask something more like, "What does the humpback chub do for humans?"

This presentation uses a case study of the Colorado River's humpback chub (Gila cypha) to argue that a species' very existence has value and merits preservation efforts when compromised by human intervention. First, it demonstrates that a species' continued existence relies on the ability of its member organisms to act: to flourish by reproducing successfully and avoiding extinction. It shows that, while the humpback chub may not do anything for humans, it certainly acts autonomously. Next, it appeals uniquely to virtue ethics to demonstrate that the action of flourishing does, in fact, have value. It concludes that species, by virtue of their existence, have intrinsic value and that when human actions compromise a species' ability to flourish, it is incumbent upon humans to modify their actions and work deliberately to preserve that species regardless of its perceived instrumental value.
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Association:
Name: ASEH Annual Conference
URL:
http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170475_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Smith, Ian. "Existence, Action, and Value: The Ethics of Preservation and the Humpback Chub" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170475_index.html>

APA Citation:

Smith, I. A. "Existence, Action, and Value: The Ethics of Preservation and the Humpback Chub" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1170475_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: "What good is the humpback chub, anyway?"

When critics of environmental protection and species preservation efforts ask questions like this, they inquire after the instrumental value of the humpback chub. They mean to ask something more like, "What does the humpback chub do for humans?"

This presentation uses a case study of the Colorado River's humpback chub (Gila cypha) to argue that a species' very existence has value and merits preservation efforts when compromised by human intervention. First, it demonstrates that a species' continued existence relies on the ability of its member organisms to act: to flourish by reproducing successfully and avoiding extinction. It shows that, while the humpback chub may not do anything for humans, it certainly acts autonomously. Next, it appeals uniquely to virtue ethics to demonstrate that the action of flourishing does, in fact, have value. It concludes that species, by virtue of their existence, have intrinsic value and that when human actions compromise a species' ability to flourish, it is incumbent upon humans to modify their actions and work deliberately to preserve that species regardless of its perceived instrumental value.


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