Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Land Ethic

  • Kirk Robinson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_399

Global human justice cannot be achieved at the expense of the health of the natural environment on which humanity depends. The demands of global human justice therefore require an ethic that recognizes our inescapable dependence upon Nature. One such ethic is Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.

Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) is widely known as the father of modern wildlife management and of the American wilderness system. An equally important but less widely appreciated part of his legacy is his concept of the Land Ethic, presented in A Sand County Almanac (SCA), published in 1949. The fundamental principle of the Land Ethic is that morally right actions are ones that tend to preserve the “integrity,” “stability,” and beauty of the biotic community, while morally wrong actions are ones having the opposite tendency (Leopold 1949).

The concepts of integrity and stability as applied to ecosystems are specialized, scientific concepts, but essentially the idea is that an ecosystem possessing these...

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References

  1. Kant E (1785) Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  2. Leopold A (1949) A sand county Almanac. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Leopold A (1953) Round river. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Light R, Rolston H (eds) (2003) Environmental ethics: an anthology. Blackwell, MaldenGoogle Scholar
  5. Meine C (1991) Aldo Leopold: his life and work. University of Wisconsin Press, MadisonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Wildlife ConservancySalt Lake CityUSA