Presented by Dr Simon P James
Economists and policymakers say that we should conserve nature because of the various ‘ecosystem services’ it provides. But that is just part of the answer. Much of nature needs conserving for its own sake and not just for ours. And even when it does benefit us humans, nature does not always do so as a service-provider. What is needed, I propose, is an approach to nature conservation that is at once more humane but less human-centred.
Simon James is currently an Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Philosophy. His work engages with a wide range of issues in environmental philosophy, from Buddhist approaches to wildlife conservation to our moral relations with rock formations, and from the (so-called) problem of animal minds to the virtue ethical question of whether a good life must be a green life.
Ideas for Positive Change is a new series of short talks, presented by Durham University academics. Inspired by the success of New Ideas for the New Normal in 2020, a range of world-class researchers return to Durham Book Festival to explore how we might build a more positive future.