Environmental Ethics

Volume 19, Issue 1, Spring 1997

Bill Shaw
Pages 53-67

A Virtue Ethics Approach to Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

I examine “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold from a virtue ethics perspective. Following Leopold, I posit the “good” as the “integrity, stability, and beauty” of biotic communities and then develop “land virtues” that foster this good. I recommend and defend three land virtues: respect (or ecological sensitivity), prudence, and practical judgment.