Why save endangered species without clear aesthetic, economic, or ecosystemic value? The Intrinsic Value of Endangered Species takes on this challenging question through an account of the intrinsic goods of species. Ian A. Smith argues that a species' intrinsic value stems from its ability to flourish – its organisms continuing to reproduce successfully and it avoiding extinction – which helps to demonstrate a further claim, that humans ought to preserve species that we have endangered. He shows our need to exercise humility in our relations with endangered species through the preservation of their intrinsic goods, which in turn rectifies our degradation of their importance. Unique in its appeal to virtue ethics and to species concepts, The Intrinsic Value of Endangered Species is an important resource for scholars working in environmental ethics and the philosophy of biology.
1. Introduction: The Humpback Chub
2. Species Concepts and Ontology
3. Rolston's Account: Objective Value
4. Johnson's Account: Well-Being Interests
5. Callicott's Account: Leopold's Story
6. The Intrinsic Goods of Species
7. The Role of Humility
8. Problems and Solutions
9. Competing Moral Considerations, Preservation Considerations
10. Preservation of Higher-Order Taxa?
Ian A. Smith is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Washburn University, US