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Environmental Philosophy


published on October 27, 2015

Patrik Baard
DOI: 10.5840/envirophil2015102624

Change of Plans? An Environmental Pragmatist View on Reconsidering Long-term Goals

Sustainable ecosystem management often requires setting goals despite uncertainty regarding the achievability and desirability of the intended state of affairs. Coming to doubt the achievability or desirability of a previously set goal might sometimes, but not always, require reconsidering that goal. There is, however, a need to strike a balance between responsiveness to new information and knowing when to retain goals despite doubts. By critically engaging with adaptive ecosystem management (AEM), as advocated by environmental pragmatist Bryan G. Norton, criteria for warranted reconsideration of long-term goals are investigated.

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