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What is the relationship between ethics and science? How can and should this relationship bear on environmental philosophy, politics, or policy? At the risk of oversimplification, there are at least three senses in which these two domains intertwine. The social sciences (psychology, cognitive science) may inform us about patterns of moral behavior and decision making in different contexts; values may play a role in the practice of science itself; and scientific inquiry may inform environmental ethics and policy. An elaboration of these three senses will follow, along with a discussion of two examples of the interrelationship between science and ethics in the work of Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold.

First, psychologists, cognitive scientists, and others have done interesting research on how people reason, make decisions, and ...

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