Value Pluralism and Consistency Maximisation in the Writings of Aldo Leopold: Moving Beyond Callicott's Interpretations of the Land Ethic

Environmental Values 26 (3):269-295 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The 70th anniversary of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949) approaches. For philosophers—environmental ethicists in particular—this text has been highly influential, especially the ‘Land Ethic’ essay contained therein. Given philosophers’ acumen for identifying and critiquing arguments, one might reasonably think a firm grasp of Leopold’s ideas to have emerged from such attention. I argue that this is not the case. Specifically, Leopold’s main interpreter and systematiser, philosopher J. Baird Callicott, has shoehorned Aldo Leopold’s ideas into differing monistic moral theories that ill-serve a proper understanding. Against Callicott, my paper argues that Aldo Leopold embraces a robust moral pluralism, one that goes beyond mere pragmatics, and he does so while seeking a consistency maximisation of values. A new, improved understanding of Leopold’s ideas thus emerges.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-11-20
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Case for Animal Rights.Regan, Tom & Midgley, Mary

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
273 ( #12,301 of 42,348 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
79 ( #6,866 of 42,348 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.