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Fellow CreaturesOur Obligations to the Other Animals$
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Christine M. Korsgaard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198753858

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198753858.001.0001

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Species, Communities, and Habitat Loss

Species, Communities, and Habitat Loss

(p.191) 11 Species, Communities, and Habitat Loss
Fellow Creatures

Christine M. Korsgaard

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the question what is bad about the extinction of a species, and whether the extinction of a species is bad for its members. It asks what a species is, whether it is a population rather than a type, whether it has a good, and whether it can act, and argues that we cannot straightforwardly say yes to any of those questions. It argues that our tendency to speak and think of species as if they were generic organisms makes us overlook the value of individual animals. In place of thinking about the wrong we are doing to a species, we should think about the wrong we are doing to communities of animals when we destroy the possibility of their carrying on shared lives in shared habitats. The chapter ends by asking whether given our terrible effects on other species, the human species ought voluntarily to go extinct.

Keywords:   community, extinction, generic, population, shared, species, type

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