Advertisement

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 101–113 | Cite as

Ecosystem Services and the Value of Places

  • Simon P. James
Article

Abstract

In the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Wide Fund for Nature and many other environmental organisations, it is standard practice to evaluate particular woods, wetlands and other such places on the basis of the ‘ecosystem services’ they are thought to provide. I argue that this practice cannot account for one important way in which places are of value to human beings. When they play integral roles in our lives, particular places have a kind of value which cannot be adequately conceived in terms of service provision. Since it is in this respect limited, the ecosystem services framework can, I suggest, be criticised on grounds of justice.

Keywords

Duty Ecosystem services Environmental ethics Place Value Justice 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I owe a special thanks to Andy Hamilton and two anonymous reviewers for the detailed comments they provided on drafts of this paper. The ideas and arguments presented in it were first aired at the 2013 meeting of the International Society for Environmental Ethics, and I am grateful for the helpful feedback I received from audience members on that occasion. Finally, I would like to thank the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council for awarding me the 6-month fellowship which, amongst other things, enabled me to write this paper.

References

  1. Attfield R (2011) Beyond anthropocentrism. In: O’Hear A, Rolston H (eds) Philosophy and the environment, royal institute of philosophy supplement 69. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 29–46Google Scholar
  2. Bate J (2003) John Clare: a biography. Picador, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernstein MH (1998) On moral considerability: an essay on who morally matters. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Brennan A, Lo YS (2010) Understanding environmental philosophy. Acumen, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  5. Carter I (1999) A measure of freedom. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Casey E (1997) The fate of place: a philosophical history. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  7. Coles R (1971) Migrants, sharecroppers, mountaineers: volume II of children of crisis. Little, Brown and Co, BostonGoogle Scholar
  8. Dworkin G (1988) The theory and practice of autonomy. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ernstson H, Sörlin S (2013) Ecosystem services as technology of globalization: on articulating values in urban nature. Ecol Econ 86:274–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans CJ (2005) With respect for nature: living as part of the natural world. SUNY Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  11. Fitzpatrick WJ (2004) Valuing nature non-instrumentally. J Values Inq 38:315–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fullilove MT (1996) Psychiatric implications of displacement: contributions from the psychology of place. Am J Psychiatry 153:1516–1523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greene M (2007) On the origin of species notions and their ethical limitations. In: Beauchamp TL, Frey RG (eds) The oxford handbook of animal ethics. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 577–602Google Scholar
  14. Harvey D (1996) Justice, nature and the geography of difference. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Kagan S (1998) Rethinking intrinsic value. J Ethics 2:277–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kahn M (1996) Your place and mine: sharing emotional landscapes in Wamira, Papua New Guinea. In: Feld S, Basso KH (eds) Senses of place. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, pp 167–196Google Scholar
  17. Katz E (1997) Nature as subject: human obligation and natural community. Rowman & Littlefield, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  18. Keith M, Pile S (1993) Place and the politics of identity. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Kiker GA, Bridges YS, Varghese A, Seager TP, Linkov I (2005) Application of multicriteria decision analysis in environmental decision making. Integr Environ Assess Manag 1:95–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Korsgaard C (1983) Two distinctions in goodness. Philos Rev 92:169–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kupperman J (2005) The epistemology of non-instrumental value. Philos Phenomenol Res 70(3):659–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maier DS (2012) What’s so good about biodiversity? Springer, DordechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Malpas J (1999) Place and experience: a philosophical topography. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mansfield L (2008) The Cumbria hill sheep initiative: a solution to the decline of upland hill farming community in England? In: Robinson GM (ed) Sustainable rural systems: sustainable agriculture and rural communities. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp 161–183Google Scholar
  25. Massey D (2005) For space. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Matravers D (2013) Introducing philosophy of art in eight case studies. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  27. Midgley M (1983) Duties concerning islands. In: Elliot R, Gare A (eds) Environmental philosophy. The Open University Press, Milton Keynes, pp 166–181Google Scholar
  28. Moss J (2014) Reassessing egalitarianism. Palgrave Macmillan, HoundmillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nuttall M (1998) Protecting the arctic: indigenous peoples and cultural survival. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. O’Neil R (1997) Intrinsic value, moral standing, and species. Environ Ethics 19:45–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. O’Neill O (1998) Kant on duties regarding nonrational nature. Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 72:211–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ramirez-Gomez SOI, Torres-Vitolas CA, Schreckenberg K, Honzák M, Cruz-Garcia GS, Willcock S, Palacios E, Pérez-Miñana E, Verweij PA, Poppy GM (2015) Analysis of ecosystem services provision in the Colombian Amazon using participatory research and mapping techniques. Ecosystem Services (in press)Google Scholar
  33. Regan DH (1986) Duties of preservation. In: Norton BG (ed) The preservation of species. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 195–222Google Scholar
  34. Reyers B, Polasky S, Tallis H, Mooney HA, Larigauderie A (2012) Finding common ground for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Bioscience 62(5):503–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rigby C (2004) Topographies of the sacred: the poetics of place in European romanticism. University of Virginia Press, CharlottesvilleGoogle Scholar
  36. Sandler R (2007) Character and environment: a virtue-oriented approach to environmental ethics. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Shafer-Landau R (2013) Ethical theory: an anthology, 2nd edn. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  38. Sikor T, Fisher J, Few R, Martin A, Zeitoun M (2013) The justices and injustices of ecosystem services. In: Sikor T (ed) The justices and injustices of ecosystem services. Routledge, Abingdon, pp 187–200Google Scholar
  39. Sorell T (2000) Moral theory and anomaly. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  40. Wood A (1998) Kant on duties regarding nonrational nature. Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 72:189–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wordsworth W (1963) In: Brett RL, Jones AR (eds) Lyrical ballads: the text of the 1798 edition with the additional 1800 poems and the prefaces. Methuen, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyDurham UniversityDurhamUK

Personalised recommendations