February 23, 2007 12:42 PM

Aldo Leopold's The Land Ethic

Aldo Leopold was a forester, conservationist, ecologist- I think philosopher of axiology ought to be added to this list. Axiology is the philosophical branch concerned with ethics and aesthetics and, for Leopold, ethics in land use and conservation are key to understanding our place in not only human communities but also in the biotic community at large. In 1949 Leopold published The Land Ethic, in which he outlines a very different way we ought to understand our relationship with nature.

He argues that man had an obligation to the land rather than a dominion over it. He says:
"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." We ought to practice sustainability because we are above all things beholden to the land. Leopold's ecological ethic is a sad contrast to some of the wholesale exploitation that persists 58 years later. The Land Ethic is deeply sensitive and thoughtful ethical theory. It's foreruns both the modern conservation and deep ecology movements.

A worthy read, neither for the overstimulated nor the short of attention, can be found here:
The Land Ethic

Eric Thurston | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (1)

Comments (1)

I love Aldo Leopold. I have a well-loved copy of [I]A Sand County Almanac[/I]. There's a foundation that represents his principles and runs the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, as well as The Leopold Family Shack & Farm. Here's a link to their website: [URL="http://www.aldoleopold.org/"]http://www.aldoleopold.org/[/URL]

Posted by botanynerd | 2007-02-24

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