Speaking and listening to nature: ethics within ecology

Cooper, Nigel S. (2000) Speaking and listening to nature: ethics within ecology. Biodiversity and Conservation, 9 (8). pp. 1009-1027. ISSN 0960-3115

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008962316747

Abstract

One context for the papers arising from INTECOL VII in this special issue is the debate over the social construction of science. Some fear that advocates for the social or cultural construction of ecology will undermine attempts to defend nature. But resources are made available in a mediating position of social ‘construal’, particularly alerting ecologists to the social and ethical dimensions of the conducting of their work. When speaking, ecologists will use living and dead metaphors and these carry connotations which in turn raise ethical questions. Different political interest groups may use a word like biodiversity for different ethical purposes. The position of any one speaker is limited, and so greater knowledge is achieved if scientists listen to the situated knowledges of other, diverse people. Even Nature herself, or creatures, may have aspects of personhood. The good ecologist will listen with empathy as a naturalist to what is being said, giving Nature the respect she deserves. These are some of the ethical implications in the very doing of ecology.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: biodiversity, metaphor, personalism, situated knowledge, social construction of science
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Rev Canon Nigel Cooper
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2016 15:00
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/701302

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