Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Thinking Like a PlanetThe Land Ethic and the Earth Ethic$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

J. Baird Callicott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199324880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199324880.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2019

The Earth Ethic: A Critical Account of Its Philosophical Foundations

The Earth Ethic: A Critical Account of Its Philosophical Foundations

Chapter:
(p.154) (p.155) 6 The Earth Ethic: A Critical Account of Its Philosophical Foundations
Source:
Thinking Like a Planet
Author(s):

J. Baird Callicott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199324880.003.0007

Aldo Leopold studied the Bible not for devotional but for rhetorical purposes. At the beginning of “Some Fundamentals of Conservation in the Southwest” (written in 1923) Leopold quotes Ezekiel’s criticism of land and water mismanagement and infers from it three moral rationales for conservation: (1) (a) personal, (b) professional, and (c) societal virtue; (2) responsibility to future generations, both to (a) “immediate posterity” and (b) the “Unknown Future”; and (3) respect for the earth as a living being. Leopold elaborates the idea of the Earth as a living being and speculates on the possibility of its “soul or consciousness” inspired by P. D. Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum. Leopold thus anticipates the Gaia Hypothesis. He ridicules metaphysical anthropocentrism and A. T. Hadley’s definition of truth as “that which prevails in the long run.” Bryan Norton argues that Leopold is endorsing Hadley’s definition, but fails to appreciate Leopold’s irony in mentioning it

Keywords:   Leopold, Ouspensky, Ezekiel, Norton, Hadley, virtue, future generations, respect, Gaia Hypothesis, anthropocentrism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .