Pierfrancesco Biasetti Barbara De Mori

Towards a Conservation Ethics

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Conservation ethics is a specific area of applied ethics that deals with the ethical and normative issues arising from conservation biology – that is, a multidisciplinary branch of biology dealing with the conservation of living organisms and of the interactions between those organisms and the environment. Conservation biology is – overtly, unlike many other scientific disciplines – a «value-laden» discipline. The hard questions of conservation biology – such as what biodiversity is and why we ought to preserve it – are normative ones. As such, they are questions of conservation ethics. This contribution is intended to map some of the major theoretical and practical issues concerning conservation ethics. Theoretical and practical issues are peculiar since conservation ethics is unique in the landscape of applied ethics as it stands at the crossroad among three different loci of value: environment, animals and human beings. Conservation ethics is in fact a triangular affair among these three kinds of moral concerns.


  • Applied Ethics
  • Conservation Biology
  • Conservation Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Animal Ethics


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