Environmental Ethics

Volume 15, Issue 2, Summer 1993

Karen J. Warren, Jim Cheney
Pages 99-116

Ecosystem Ecology and Metaphysical Ecology
A Case Study

We critique the metaphysical ecology developed by J. Baird Callicott in “The Metaphysical Implications of Ecology” in light of what we take to be the most viable attempt to provide an inclusive theoretical framework for the wide variety of extant ecosystem analyses—namely, hierarchy theory. We argue that Callicott’s metaphysical ecology is not consonant with hierarchy theory and is, therefore, an unsatisfactory foundation for the development of an environmental ethic.