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date: 13 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article probes the difference between the concerns we have about using individual animals, such as laboratory animals, and the concerns found in environmental ethics, which focus not on individual beings but on entities such as ecosystems, the wilderness, or even the whole biosphere. A concern that cuts across environmental ethics and ethical issues about animals is whether we have a duty to preserve species, most notably those threatened by human activities. It notes that once defenders of species preservation have realized that their arguments are entirely contingent on whether animal species make contributions to humans, the defenders of a general duty of species preservation will want to dig in and argue that species must have non-derivative value in their own right. It believes that evolutionary biology calls into question the intelligibility of defending the non-derivative value of species.

Keywords: laboratory animals, environmental ethics, species preservation, evolutionary biology

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