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Internalizing Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic

The Communitarian Perspective on Ecological Sustainability and Social Policy



Aldo Leopold, Land Ethic, Communitarianism, Environmental Ethics, Social Policy, Ecology, Human Ecology, Ecological Civilization


It is clear that environmentalist are failing in their efforts to avert a global ecological catastrophe. It is argued here that Aldo Leopold had provided the foundations for an effective environmental movement, but to develop his land ethic, it is necessary first to interpret and advance it by seeing it as a form of communitarianism, and link it to communitarian ethical and political philosophy. This synthesis can then be further developed by incorporating advanced ideas in ecology and human ecology. Overcoming the division between the sciences and humanities and granting a place to narratives as a highly developed form of eco-semiosis, these provide the foundation for a new grand narrative committed to creating an ecological civilization, a civilization organized to augment the life of ecosystems, including human ecosystems, by augmenting the conditions for its members to flourish and develop their full potential to augment life.

Author Biography

Arran Gare, Swinburne University


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How to Cite

Gare, A. (2021). Internalizing Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic: The Communitarian Perspective on Ecological Sustainability and Social Policy. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 397–420. Retrieved from