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Buddhism and the ethics of species conservation.

James, S. P. (2006) 'Buddhism and the ethics of species conservation.', Environmental values., 15 (1). pp. 85-97.


Efforts to conserve endangered species of animal are, in some important respects, at odds with Buddhist ethics. On the one hand, being abstract entities, species cannot suffer, and so cannot be proper objects of compassion or similar moral virtues. On the other, Buddhist commitments to equanimity tend to militate against the idea that the individual members of endangered species have greater value than those of less-threatened ones. This paper suggests that the contribution of Buddhism to the issue of species conservation should not, however, be discounted. It argues, on the contrary, that Buddhist traditions, in reminding us of the moral significance of the suffering of individual animals, add an important dimension to debates concerning the ethical justification of efforts to conserve endangered species.

Item Type:Article
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Keywords:Environmental ethics, Species, Buddhism.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:26 Mar 2008
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:29

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