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In the Aldo Leopold’s article, Ecocentrism: The land ethics, in Ecocentric Ethics, he describes the different ways through which people relate to the ecosystem. In his argument, he says that as people relate to each other through different conduct, so should they relate…
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Land Ethics In the Aldo Leopold’s article, Ecocentrism: The land ethics, in Ecocentric Ethics, he describes the different ways through which people relate to the ecosystem. In his argument, he says that as people relate to each other through different conduct, so should they relate moderately to the environment in which they live and co-exist with other organisms. He defines ethics from the perspective of ecology, which argues that ethics is the limitation to freedom of action in the struggle to exist in an environment and from the perspective of the philosophy where he says that ethics is the life aspect that differentiates the social from the anti-social (Leopold 163). Leopold argues that there have not been laws to determine the ethical aspects of the person and other things like land and animals which are relevant parts of the life of people. This means that people are likely participate in the different ways that violates the rights of the land and animals without getting subjected to any law (Leopold 163-164).
Leopold (165) argue ethics is a guide that should dictate the behavior of people when they are interacting with other parts of the ecology in which they live and exploit to have their livelihood. According to him for example, land ethic makes Homo sapiens just members in the ecology as opposed to his conquering position in which he may take advantage of other individuals in the society. This means that people cannot exploit the land while provoking the rights of the other organisms that are occupying the same environment because the rights make all of them equal members in the environment. In another area, Leopold says that conservation is one of the key components and role that members of the ecology should carry on as long as they are in the environment. This means that all the occupants need to be conscious of the place in which they live and therefore, they should engage in practices that will ensure that they their stay is sustainable.
On the other hand, Leopold (166) provides an alternative to land ethics which is looking at the fact of conservation from the perspective of the economic value of each member of the ecology. This means that all the plants and animals that produce nothing of economic significance should be left out to survive on their own and can also be eliminated to allow the productivity of the land.
The strength of Leopold’s work is that it provides a framework of the behavior of different individuals in the ecology as role players to ensure conservation of the environment without facilitating exploitation of the land. This is determined to bring the balance of the ecosystem where all the individuals are expected to benefit from the provisions of the land in which they exist.
One of the weaknesses of the land ethic of Leopold is the failure to acknowledge the supremacy of the economic demands people have than other organisms within the society. The land ethics places people at the same level with other economically unnecessary organisms which frustrate the effort of people to benefit from the environment but he does not want people to frustrate the thriving of such organisms.
Work Cited
Leopold, Aldo. “Ecocentrism: The Land Ethics” in Pojman, Louis and Pojman, Paul. Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application. Belmont, Calif: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008. Read More
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