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dc.contributor.advisorMaclaurin, James
dc.contributor.advisorEllis, Lisa
dc.contributor.authorGibson, Charles Reuben
dc.date.available2019-07-25T03:01:52Z
dc.date.copyright2019
dc.identifier.citationGibson, C. R. (2019). A Defence of Biodiversity as the Goal of Conservation Biology (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/9517en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/9517
dc.description.abstractBiodiversity has been the goal of conservation for thirty years but recent work by biodiversity eliminativists has raised serious challenges to its suitability as the primary goal of conservation. This project groups those challenges into three major arguments: the conceptual case for biodiversity’s elimination, the empirical case for biodiversity’s elimination, and the value compass case for biodiversity’s elimination. Aside from discussing biodiversity as a property, this thesis will also discuss biodiversity as a concept (as in biodiversity), and refer to the word biodiversity (as in ‘biodiversity’). In the conceptual case for biodiversity’s elimination, eliminativists argue that biodiversity misdirects the efforts of conservation and is not a scientifically coherent concept. In the empirical case, eliminativists argue that biodiversity is not operationalisable. In the value compass case, eliminativists argue that biodiversity does not reliably track biological value. I will argue that all three cases for biodiversity’s elimination are unsuccessful. Biodiversity is a complex concept with multiple dimensions of biological diversities but understanding it as a homeostatic property cluster avoids the conceptual case for its elimination. The empirical case is unsuccessful because the surrogacy strategy for measuring biodiversity can be defended against its limitations and the expanding multiplicity of biodiversity measures is overblown. The value compass case is correct about the inability of biodiversity to track pluralistic biological value, but for the wrong reasons. Biodiversity is not a reliable compass for pluralistic biological value because there are no reliable compasses for pluralistic biological value. However, biological value is distinct from conservation normativity—understood as what conservationists ought to do—and biodiversity is an excellent guide to conservation normativity. This makes biodiversity an excellent conceptual and empirical fit for its role as a guide to conservation normativity.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectBiodiversity
dc.subjectHomeostatic Property Cluster
dc.subjectOperationalisability
dc.subjectConservation
dc.subjectPhilosophy
dc.subjectPhilosophy of Science
dc.subjectBiological Value
dc.subjectMeasurement
dc.subjectMeaning
dc.subjectMulti-dimensional Measures
dc.subjectBiology
dc.subjectSantana
dc.subjectKarr
dc.subjectAngermeier
dc.subjectDefence
dc.subjectConservation Goals
dc.titleA Defence of Biodiversity as the Goal of Conservation Biology
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2019-07-24T22:39:45Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophy
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
otago.evidence.presentYes
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