The Preservation Paradox and Natural Capital

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Abstract
Many ecological economists have argued that some natural capital should be preserved for posterity. Yet, among environmental philosophers, the preservation paradox entails that preserving parts of nature, including those denoted by natural capital, is impossible. The paradox claims that nature is a realm of phenomena independent of intentional human agency, that preserving and restoring nature require intentional human agency, and, therefore, no one can preserve or restore nature (without making it artificial). While this article argues that the preservation paradox is more difficult to resolve than ordinarily recognized, it also concludes by sketching a positive way to understand what it means to preserve natural capital during the Anthropocene.
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First archival date: 2019-12-22
Latest version: 3 (2020-01-23)
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2019-12-22

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