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Environmental Ethics

Volume 17, Issue 4, Winter 1995

Nicholas Agar
Pages 397-415

Valuing Species and Valuing Individuals

My goal in this paper is to account for the value of species in terms of the value of individual organisms that make them up. Many authors have pointed to an apparent conflict between a species preservationist ethic and moral theories that place value on individuals. I argue for an account of the worth of individual organisms grounded in the representational goals of those organisms. I claim that this account leads to an acceptably extensive species preservationist ethic.