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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Biocentric individualism and biodiversity conservation: An argument from parsimony

Baard, Patrik


This article argues that holistic ecocentrism unnecessarily introduces elements to explain why we ought to halt biodiversity loss. I suggest that atomistic accounts can justify the same conclusion by utilising fewer elements. Hence, why we ought to preserve biodiversity can be made reasonable without adding elements such as intrinsic values of ecosystems or moral obligations to conserve collectives of organisms. Between two equally good explanations of the same phenomenon, the explanation utilising fewer elements, which speaks in favour of atomistic accounts, will be the better one.


Biodiversity; biocentrism; ecocentrism; Ockham's razor

Published in

Environmental Values
2021, volume: 30, number: 1, pages: 93-110

Authors' information

Baard, Patrik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Biodiversity Centre

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

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