Environmental Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Patrik Baard
Pages 185-204

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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