Questions on Ecocentric holism vs. Individualism (e.g., species /ecosystems vs. individuals)
1. Give some examples where respect for natural systems and species involves the sacrifice of the good of some individual organisms. Discuss how you might resolve such conflicts. Does the good of the species/ecosystem outweigh (ever? sometimes? always?) the good of individual members of that system? Give a plausible example where the good of the system outweighs the good of an individual in it. Now give a plausible example where the good of the individual outweighs the good of the system.
2. Do agree with Roger Caras that the conflict between concern for individuals and concern for species is a “nonissue?” Is emotional concern for the plight of individual wild animals appropriate? Is it “unscientific?” Should one be a “bambi-ite?” Is Caras correct in thinking that needs of individual and species seldom come apart?
3. Why some Western states seek to kill sea lions? Should they be allowed to do so on your view? Who cased this problem in the first place? How
4. Why do some bird lovers worry about feral cats? Describe what one such bird lover did (from our reading). Were his actions justifiable on your view?
5. Describe the debate over hunting endangered wildlife in Texas as a way of preserving them. What is to be said on each side of this debate? What is your own view about this practice?
6. Why was the Navy shooting goats on San Clemente Island? Do you agree with that policy? Why or why not?
7. What is an endemic species? What is a feral species?