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[Athena] Ecologie, Evolution, Ethique

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  • From: <bergandi AT>
  • To: athena AT
  • Subject: [Athena] Ecologie, Evolution, Ethique
  • Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 19:23:00 +0200

Chers collègues,

Je vous informe de la publication de l’ouvrage suivant :

Bergandi, D. (ed.), 2013, The Structural Links between Ecology, Evolution and
Ethics: The Virtuous Epistemic Circle, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and
History of Science, 296, Dordrecht, Springer.

Bien cordialement
Donato Bergandi


- 1 Ecology, Evolution, Ethics: In Search of a Meta-Paradigm - An Introduction
Donato Bergandi

1.1 Some Landmarks of an Interweaved History of Ecology, Evolution and Ethics
1.2 Looking for an Epistemic and Practical Meta-paradigm: The Transactional
1.3 Evolution between Ethics and Creationism
1.4 Chance and Time between Evolution and Ecology
1.5 Ethics between Ecology and Evolution

- 2 Evolution Versus Creation: A Sibling Rivalry?
Michael Ruse

2.1 Before The Origin
2.2 Charles Darwin
2.3 The Darwinian Evangelist
2.4 The Twenty-first Century

- 3 Evolution and Chance
Jean Gayon

3.1 Three Meanings of the Concept of Chance
3.1.1 Luck
3.1.2 Random Events
3.1.3 Contingency with Respect to a Theoretical System
3.2 Modalities of Chance in the Biology of Evolution
3.2.1 Mutation
3.2.2 Random Genetic Drift
3.2.3 Genetic Revolution
3.2.4 The Ecosystem Level
3.2.5 The Macroevolutionary Level (Paleobiology)
3.2.6 Other Cases
3.3 Conclusion

- 4 Some Conceptions of Time in Ecology
Jean-Marc Drouin

4.1 Scales of Time
4.2 The Chronological Issue
4.3 Crop Rotation
4.4 Succession and Equilibrium
4.5 Irreversibility and Unpredictability
4.6 Persistence and Anticipation

- 5 Facts, Values, and Analogies: A Darwinian Approach to Environmental Choice
Bryan G. Norton

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Naturalism: The Method of Experience
5.3 An Empirical Hypothesis
5.4 Scaling and Environmental Problem Formulation
5.5 Darwin and Environmental Ethics

- 6 Towards EcoEvoEthics
Patrick Blandin

6.1 An Equilibrium World and the Ecosystem Paradigm
6.2 Protection of Nature: The Path to Ecology
6.3 Ecocentrism, the Ethical Counterpart of the Ecosystem Paradigm
6.4 Ecology Meets Evolution: The Co-change Paradigm
6.5 An Eco-evolutionary Ethics Is Needed
6.6 Uniqueness, Diversity, and Evolutionary Values
6.7 Conclusion

- 7 Ecology and Moral Ontology
J. Baird Callicott

7.1 The Superorganism Paradigm in Ecology
7.2 The Ecosystem Paradigm in Ecology
7.3 The Rise and Fall of Ecosystems as Superorganisms
7.4 Organisms as Superecosystems
7.5 Classical and Recent Expressions of the Organism as Superecosystem Concept
7.6 From a Modern to a Post-modern Moral Ontology
7.7 Post-modern Ecological Moral Ontology: Toward an Erotic Ethic

- 8 Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics
Tom Regan

8.1 Defining Characteristics of Moral Rights
8.1.1 “No Trespassing”
8.1.2 Equality
8.1.3 Trump
8.1.4 Respect
8.2 Who Has Moral Rights?
8.2.1 Subjects-of-a-Life
8.2.2 Animal Rights
8.3 A Number of Environmentally-based Objections Have Been Raised Against the
Rights View
8.3.1 The Rights View and Predator-Prey Relations
8.3.2 The Rights View and Endangered Species

- 9 Reconciling Individualist and Deeper Environmentalist Theories? An
Robin Attfield

9.1 The Recent Context
9.2 Carter’s Proposed Environmental Ethic
9.3 Carter’s Method for Trade-offs
9.4 Pluralism and Monism
9.5 Elinor Mason on Monism, Pluralism and the Comparison Thesis

- 10 Two Philosophies of the Environmental Crisis
Catherine Larrère

10.1 Philosophy of Nature or Philosophy of Technology
10.2 A Non-sustainable Duality
10.3 Nature or Non-humans?
10.4 Conclusion: Nature Is not a Bygone Reference – We Still Have to Deal with

- 11 Epilogue: The Epistemic and Practical Circle in an Evolutionary,
Ecologically Sustainable Society
Donato Bergandi

- Indexes

Abstract - Evolutionary, ecological and ethical studies are, at the same time,
specific scientific disciplines and, from an historical point of view,
structurally linked domains of research.
In a context of environmental crisis, the need is increasingly emerging for a
connecting epistemological framework able to express a common or convergent
tendency of thought and practice aimed at building, among other things, an
environmental policy management respectful of the planet’s biodiversity and
its evolutionary potential.

Evolutionary biology, ecology and ethics: at first glance, three different
objects of research, three different worldviews and three different scientific
communities. In reality, there are both structural and historical links
between these disciplines. First, some topics are obviously common across the
board. Second, the emerging need for environmental policy management has
gradually but radically changed the relationship between these disciplines.
Over the last decades in particular, there has emerged a need for an
interconnecting meta-paradigm that integrates more strictly evolutionary
studies, biodiversity studies and the ethical frameworks that are most
appropriate for allowing a lasting co-evolution between natural and social
systems. Today such a need is more than a mere luxury, it is an
epistemological and practical necessity.

In short, the authors of this volume address some of the foundational themes
that interconnect evolutionary studies, ecology and ethics. Here they have
chosen to analyze a topic using one of these specific disciplines as a kind of
epistemological platform with specific links to topics from one or both of the
remaining disciplines. Michael Ruse’s chapter, for instance, elucidates some
of the structural links between Darwinism and ethics. Ruse analyzes the
Evolutionism vs. Creationism debate, emphasizing the risks run by scientists
when they ideologize the scientific content of their studies. In the case of
the contributions of Jean Gayon and Jean-Marc Drouin, which respectively deal
with the disciplines of evolutionary biology and ecology, some central
connections have been developed between these two disciplines, while reserving
the option to consider in detail their topic in order to discover essential
features or meanings. Gayon analyzes the multilayered meanings of “chance” in
evolutionary studies and the methodological implications that accompany such
disparate meanings. From a similar analytical perspective, Drouin’s
contribution focuses on the identification and critical evaluation of the
different conceptions of time in ecology. Chance and time, factors of
evolution in species and ecological systems, play a very important function in
both disciplines, and these chapters help to capture their polysemous
structure and development. Bryan Norton’s chapter, on adaptive environmental
management, is set within an epistemological context where the Darwinian
paradigm, ecological knowledge and ethical frameworks meet to give rise to
practical, conservationist policies. In his contribution, Patrick Blandin
pleads for the necessity of an eco-evolutionary ethics capable of fully
encompassing humanity’s responsibility in the future determination of the
biosphere’s evolutionary paths. Our value systems must recognize the
predominant place that humanity has taken in the evolutionary history of the
planet, and integrate the ethical ramifications of scientific advances in
evolutionary and ecological studies. The chapter by J. Baird Callicott
introduces us to a metaphorical ecological reversion with direct consequences
for our moral conduct. If ecology showed that ecosystems are not organisms,
recognizing organisms as a kind of ecosystem could be the basis for a new
post-modern ecological ethics that lays the foundation for a better moral
integration of humans with the environment. The contributions of Robin
Attfield and Tom Regan delve into some of the classical issues in
environmental ethics, situating them within a broader ecological and
evolutionary context. Attfield’s chapter tackles the confrontation between
individualistic and ecologically holistic perspectives, their different
approaches to the issue of intrinsic value, and their tangled relation to
monism and pluralism. Regan’s contribution ponders the criteria that allow
individual beings, human and non-human, to own moral rights, the role of the
struggle for existence in the relationship between species, and the logical
difficulties involved in attributing intrinsic value to collective entities
(species, ecosystems). Catherine Larrère’s chapter discusses the opposition
between two environmental and ethical worldviews with very different
philosophical centers of gravity: nature and technology. These opposing
perspectives have direct consequences not only for the perception of the
problems at hand and for what entities are deemed morally significant, but
also for the proposed solutions. To set out some foundational events in the
history of evolutionary biology, ecology and environmental ethics is a first
necessary step towards a clarification of their major epistemological
orientations. On the basis of this inevitably non-exhaustive history, it will
be possible to better position the work of the different contributors, and to
build a meta-paradigm, i.e. a connecting epistemological framework resulting
from one common or convergent tendency of thought and practice shared by
different disciplines.

A tendency towards anthropocentricity is connatural to the human species.
Without this propensity we probably would not have been able to survive. In
fact, during evolutionary times we have had to contend with nature to
proliferate and develop our civilizations, which directly emerge from this
confrontation with nature. The point of no return was reached when humanity
was able to overcome its direct dependence on nature, when humanity achieved
the lasting ability to adapt its environment to its needs, and not simply to
follow evolutionary and ecological processes in the same way as all other
species. Of course, we are embedded in nature, and we are ontologically
dependent on ecological systems and evolutionary processes. But at this stage
of our history we have available many different ethical options for the
development of our societies and our possible relationships with nature.

The current anthropocentric and globally dominant ethical worldview emerges
from this history of relationships between man and nature, and we must
recognize that this helped us to find our place in the world. The crucial
question at issue is this: nowadays, is anthropocentrism, even in its weakest
forms, the most suitable way to cope with the environmental crisis and the
decline of biodiversity, which, practically speaking, are the direct results
of this ethical worldview? To identify intrinsic value only in man, or to
identify a ranking of intrinsic values in living beings, expresses the
traditional religiously or philosophically-grounded hierarchicalist Great
Chain of Being worldview. Is it possible to reform these positions in an
environmentally-oriented sense that could radically change relationships
between mankind and nature? Or, on the contrary, do we require an
epistemological and ethical rupture with respect to the idea that humanity has
of itself and of its place in the world? We hope that the contributions in
this volume will provide some elements of a response to the complex weave of
evolutionary, ecological and moral questions that are posed with respect to
the possible future pathways of development of humanity’s relationship with
the rest of nature.

  • [Athena] Ecologie, Evolution, Ethique, bergandi, 05/17/2013

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