Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 241–258

Biology and philosophy in Yellowstone

  • Holmes RolstonIII
Review

Abstract

Yellowstone National Park poses critical issues in biology and philosophy. Among these are (1) how to value nature, especially at the ecosystem level, and whether to let nature take its course or employ hands-on scientific management; (2) the meaning of “natural” as this operates in park policy; (3) establishing biological claims on th scale of regional systems; (4) the interplay of natural and cultural history, involving both native and European Americans; (5) and sociopolitical forces as determinants in biological discovery. Alston Chase's strident Playing God in Yellowstone is critized and used as a test of David Hull's naturalistic philosophy of biology. Biology and philosophy in Yellowstone ought to combine for an appropriate environmental ethic.

Key words

Yellowstone valuing nature natural regulation ecosystem analysis natural resource policy national parks philosophy of biology environmental ethics 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler, J., M. Hager, and J. Copeland: 1986, ‘The Grand Illusion’, Newsweek, 28 July, pages 48–51 (vol. 108, no. r).Google Scholar
  2. Chase, A.: (1986) 1987, Playing God in Yellowstoe: The Destruction of America's First National Park, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Chase, A.: 1988, ‘Neither Fire Suppression Nor Natural Burn Is a Sound Scientific Option’, New York Times, 18 September, p. 24.Google Scholar
  4. Cole, G. F.: 1969, ‘Elk and the Yellowstone Ecosyttem’, Yellowstone Library, Yellowstone National Park, February.Google Scholar
  5. Craighead, J. J. and F. C. Craighead, Jr.: 1971, ‘Grizzly Bear-Man Relationships in Yellowstone National Park’, BioScience 21, pp. 845–57.Google Scholar
  6. Despain, D., D. Houston, M. Meagher, and P. Schullery: 1986, Wildlife in Transition: Man and Nature on Yellowstone's Northern Range, Roberts Rinehart, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  7. Egan, T.: 1988, ‘Ethic of Protecting Land Fueled Yellowstone Fires’, New York Times, 22 September, p. 1, p. 12.Google Scholar
  8. Flynn, J. W.: 1983, ‘Comments on the Natural Resources Management Plan for Yellowstone National Park’, 8 February, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.Google Scholar
  9. Houston, D.B.: 1971, ‘Ecosystems of National Parks’, Science 172, pp. 648–51.Google Scholar
  10. Houston, D.B.: 1982, The Northern Yellowstone Elk, Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  11. Hull, D. L.: 1988, Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  12. Kay, C. E.: 1985, ‘Aspen Reproduction in the Yellowstone Park — Jackson Hole Area and its Relationship to the Natural Regulation of Ungulates’, in Workman, G. W. (ed.), Western Elk Management: A Symposium, Utah State University, Logan.Google Scholar
  13. Leopold, A. S.: 1968, ‘The View from Berkeley and Madison’, in Proceedings of the Meeting of Research Scientistsand Management Biologists of the National Park Service. Horace M. Albright Training Center, Grand Canyon National Park, April 6, 7, 8.Google Scholar
  14. Leopold, A. S., S. A. Cain, C. M. Cottam, I. N. Gabrielson, and T. L. Kimball: 1963, Wildlife Management in the National Parks, Report of the Advisory Board on Wildlife Management to Secretary of Interior Udall, March 4. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington.Google Scholar
  15. National Academy of Sciences (NAS): 1963, A Report by the Advisory Committee to the National Park Service on Research of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (Robbins Report), National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. National Park Service (NPS): 1968, Administrative Policies for Natural Areas of the National Park System, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington.Google Scholar
  17. National Park Service (NPS): 1986, A Detailed Response from the National Park Service to ‘The Grizzly and the Juggernaut’. Yellowstone National Park, WY.Google Scholar
  18. National Park Service (NPS): 1987, Elk and Vegetation Research Relevant to Yellowstone's Northern Range: Project Summaries. Yellowstone National Park, WY.Google Scholar
  19. Peek, J. M.: 1980, ‘Natural Regulation of Ungulates (What Constitute a Real Wilderness?)’, Wildlife Society Bulletin 8, pp. 217–27.Google Scholar
  20. Pengelly, W.L.: 1963, ‘Thunder on the Yellowstone’, Naturalist 14(2), pp. 18–25.Google Scholar
  21. Rolston, H.: 1988, Environmental Ethics: Duties to and Values in the Natural World. Temple University Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  22. Rolston, H.: 1986, ‘Can and Ought We to Follow Nature?’, In Philosophy Gone Wild, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY.Google Scholar
  23. Stuebner, S.: 1988, ‘Diverse Species Thrive after Fire Burns Forest’, The Coloradoan, Gannett News Service, 18 September.Google Scholar
  24. U.S. Congress: 1872, Yellowstone Park Act. U.S. Statutes at Large, vol. 17 (1873), ch. 24, pp. 32–33.Google Scholar
  25. Wright, G. A.: 1984, People of the High Country: Jackson Hole Before the Settlers, Peter Lang, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holmes RolstonIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations