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Overcoming Biocultural Homogenization in Modern Philosophy: Hume’s Noble Oyster

  • Ricardo RozziEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 3)

Abstract

The great influence that the eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume had on Darwin’s conception of his evolutionary theory offers today a paradigmatic case for advancing an interdisciplinary integration between philosophical and scientific ideas. This interdisciplinary integration offers novel approaches to address some of the complex indirect drivers of current socio-environmental problems, such as biocultural homogenization. The identification of philosophical factors linked to losses of biological and cultural diversity adds to the concept of indirect drivers used by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. In this chapter, I undertake three interrelated goals. The first is to expose philosophical concepts and methods that are helpful to understand some complex indirect drivers of biocultural homogenization. The second is to investigate in Hume’s work philosophical foundations to overcome the prevailing taxonomic bias that favors only a few vertebrates and to contribute overcoming the exclusion of moral consideration for the most diverse groups of animals inhabiting our planet. My third, and the most general, goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to de-homogenize a prevailing negative view about European modern philosophy and to invite readers to discover, instead, some environmental values in Western thinkers and schools of thought that can be key for overcoming taxonomic biases and their associated impact on biocultural homogenization.

Keywords

Animals Darwin Ethics Sentient Taxonomic bias 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank Donald Baxter, Kurt Heidinger, Scott Lehmann, Francisca Massardo, Peter D’Alesandre, and Roy May for their insightful comments on the manuscript and zoologist Sacha Spector for his valuable help identifying animal kinds in Hume’s work.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religion and Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation ProgramUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  3. 3.Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad and Universidad de MagallanesPunta ArenasChile

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