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Environmental Values

Ecosystem Health: An Objective Evaluation?

Lilly-Marlene Russow

Environmental Values 4(1995): 363-369. doi: 10.3197/096327195776679466

Some ecologists and philosophers have tried to develop a concept of ecosystem health that would support a more 'objective' means of evaluating an ecosystem. I argue (following Dale Jamieson) that the concept of health is itself too subjective to justify such an attempt, and then suggest that part of the problem is that the goal of achieving greater objectivity is itself unclear. I analyse and evaluate three different ways of drawing the distinction between subjective and objective evaluations as a first step towards clarifying that goal.

KEYWORDS: Ecosystem health, Jamieson, subjective values, objective values

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