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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Karori Sanctuary and the Fragility of Place

What follows is the abstract of a talk I will be giving at the University of Utah next month; it's a further development on one aspect of my first post on the topic. I welcome all comments and suggestions.

How do we secure what we value and meet our obligations when the places we inhabit are in the grip of inexorable and irreversible change?

Human beings pursue projects in the context of particular places, which afford particular arrangements of opportunity and constraint shaped by underlying natural, social, and technological dynamics. Ethics may be understood as a form of inquiry into the motives and consequences of human projects, with environmental ethics drawing attention in particular to the impact of human projects on the non-human inhabitants of our various places, and even on place itself.