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Promoting Biodiversity

Promoting Biodiversity Advances in biotechnology mean that it may soon be possible to recreate previously extinct species. This has led to an emerging debate within bioethics about whether we ought to reintroduce extinct species into our ecosystems. In this paper, we discuss the role that biodiversity could play in this debate. Many believe that biodiversity is a good that should be protected. We argue that if biodiversity is a good, then this suggests it should also be promoted, including by reintroducing previously extinct species. We begin by outlining different ways in which biodiversity could be conceptualized, and then analyze various accounts of its value. We suggest no approach justifies an asymmetry between “protecting” biodiversity by conserving species alive today, and “creating” biodiversity by introducing previously extinct species. This suggests that if we have reasons stemming from biodiversity to protect species from extinction, we will have similar reasons to reintroduce previously extinct species. We close by asking whether arguments from biodiversity speak in favor of introducing some novel species into the ecosystem. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy & Technology Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Technology
ISSN
2210-5433
eISSN
2210-5441
DOI
10.1007/s13347-016-0234-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Advances in biotechnology mean that it may soon be possible to recreate previously extinct species. This has led to an emerging debate within bioethics about whether we ought to reintroduce extinct species into our ecosystems. In this paper, we discuss the role that biodiversity could play in this debate. Many believe that biodiversity is a good that should be protected. We argue that if biodiversity is a good, then this suggests it should also be promoted, including by reintroducing previously extinct species. We begin by outlining different ways in which biodiversity could be conceptualized, and then analyze various accounts of its value. We suggest no approach justifies an asymmetry between “protecting” biodiversity by conserving species alive today, and “creating” biodiversity by introducing previously extinct species. This suggests that if we have reasons stemming from biodiversity to protect species from extinction, we will have similar reasons to reintroduce previously extinct species. We close by asking whether arguments from biodiversity speak in favor of introducing some novel species into the ecosystem.

Journal

Philosophy & TechnologySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 8, 2016

References