The land ethic is a perspective within environmental ethics that grants ethical priority to ecosystems and other ecological entities. Although the land ethic sometimes is used to refer to any ecocentric environmental ethic, the phrase originated in the writings of the American ecologist and writer Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) and is most commonly identified with Leopold’s views.

Ecocentric ethics integrates ethics and ecology by bringing ecological wholes such as species, populations, habitat, and ecosystems to the center of ethical consideration. Thus, an ecocentric approach is distinguished from biocentric (life centered) approaches by its emphasis on ecological concepts rather than on individual living animals and plants. Ecocentric ethics also gives ethical consideration to nonliving natural objects such as rivers, wetlands, and mountain ranges in ways that a life-centered, ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles