Audio Interview: Katie McShane

Matt Luedtke and I talked to professor Katie McShane on nature’s intrinsic value and how that abstract philosophical discussion might impact our love for nature. We also discussed whether ecosystems can be healthy or sick literally, or if that’s only a metaphor like the health of the economy.

Background music from composer Chris Zabriskie.

Check out the previous posts on Professor McShane’s work here, here and here, and please comment or share your thoughts below.

Thanks for listening!


Don’t worry, it’s not contagious

One of the questions that drew me into environmental philosophy was whether ecosystems could be healthy or sick.  A lot of people around me were talking (and still do) about “restoring ecosystem health.”  When I started my job with the environmental non-profit, I felt like I’d joined a clinic of nurses attending to patient Earth.  So I wondered, does it make sense to describe an ecosystem as healthy or unhealthy?  Is this merely metaphorical (as in a “healthy economy”), or can an ecosystem actually be unhealthy?

And once again, as with every step I take in environmental philosophy, I was surprised to learn that lots of people were actively debating this very topic.

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