Pinni B4141 (address: Kanslerinrinne 1)
Faculty of Social Sciences / Philosophy
Interventionistic Species Conservation and Counterfactual Property-Based Naturalness: A Comparison of Facilitated Adaptation and Assisted Migration
University lecturer Marko Ahteensuu
Basic tenets of nature conservation have been subjected to reassessment in the face of rapid anthropogenic environmental change and, especially, the resulting risk of mass extinctions. Increasingly, conservationists recognise the need for a wider toolbox including more interventionistic measures. Genome editing and DNA synthesis provide one potential way forward and could, at least in theory, contribute to conservation in a number of ways. This paper first discusses these new opportunities and then compares two interventionistic species conservation measures, particularly facilitated adaptation and assisted migration, from the naturalness point of view. Drawing on the distinction between property-based naturalness and history-based naturalness, the analysis highlights a new form of the first-mentioned. This subtype of property-based naturalness employs a counterfactual state(s) of affairs of what would have taken place were certain human caused obstacles absent as a comparative model. It is argued that the counterfactual property-based naturalness proves a central value in interventionistic conservation and thus deserves further scrutiny. The analysis reveals how certain forms of genome editing-based facilitated adaptation and assisted migration to the predicted range result in high counterfactual property-based naturalness.
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