Who owns nature? Sentience, environmental ethics and intervention in nature

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ef.345879

Keywords:

animal ethics, ecologism, interests, animal welfare, intervention in nature, welfare biology

Abstract


Who owns nature? The question could be less important than reducing animal sufferings in nature. It does not matter if nature does not belong to anyone (or if it belongs to everybody) or if it belongs to someone, because in both cases there are limitations, linked with animal welfare, regarding what we should do in nature. Sentient beings have interests that we must take into account when designing environmental policies. Since neither ecosystems nor plants have interests, preserving nature is less important than reducing animal sufferings. The relevant moral issue is, therefore, knowing what happens to sentient animals in nature and developing policies to reduce their sufferings. This implies that we have the moral obligation of intervening in nature with the aim of reducing animal sufferings, so conservationist environmental policies defended by ecologists are morally unacceptable.

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Author Biography

Mikel Torres Aldave, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU)

es profesor del Departamento de Filosofía en la Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU), trabaja principalmente en el campo de la ética animal, centrándose sobre todo en el enfoque de las capacidades propuesto por Martha Nussbaum. Ha publicado artículos sobre la extensión del enfoque de las capacidades al campo de la ética animal y la intervención en la naturaleza con el fin de reducir los sufrimientos de los animales salvajes. Forma parte del grupo de investigación ETICOP-IT. Ethics in Communities of Practice Ikerketa Taldea.

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Published

2022-01-31

How to Cite

Torres Aldave, M. (2022). Who owns nature? Sentience, environmental ethics and intervention in nature. Estudios De Filosofía, (65), 7–29. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ef.345879

Issue

Section

Dossier ¿To whom does nature belong?

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