Abstract and Keywords
Ethical implications of the concept of ecological space can be drawn from the focus it brings to issues arising from the finitude and vulnerability of habitats. An evident ethical concern is that each person should have sufficient access to support at least a minimally decent life. The demands placed by the world’s human population on its ecological space, however, are such that some members do not have enough of it for their health and well-being. One aspect of this problem is the finitude of the earth’s aggregate biophysical capacity; another is that some humans make vastly more use of the planet’s ecological space than others do. In relation to the normative assessment and regulation of human activities, I recommend differentiating between using, occupying, and commanding ecological space. It is in relation to these activities that deontic categories—of prescription, proscription and permission—can be applied.
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