Aldo Leopold and the Flying Horse

Thomas A. Heberlein

in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199773329
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979639 | DOI:
Aldo Leopold and the Flying Horse

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This chapter looks at the land ethic, Leopold’s visionary solution to environmental problems. Although the land ethic has been analyzed from ethical, historical, and philosophical perspectives, the concepts of social psychology provide fresh insight into its utility and potential. The problem with the land ethic is that it is a combination of a value and a norm. It is too general and has no clear behavioral specification so that internal and external sanctions cannot be easily applied to influence action. Moreover, even Leopold thought it would take centuries to realize a land ethic. The land ethic requires a major value shift. Something more immediate is necessary to produce effective environmental solutions.

Keywords: Aldo Leopold; land ethic; value; norm; sanctions; social psychology

Chapter.  4195 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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