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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Simon Paul James

James, Simon P. (2016). Ecosystem Services and the Value of Places. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19(1): 101-113.

Author(s) from Durham


In the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Wide Fund for Nature and many other environmental organisations, it is standard practice to evaluate particular woods, wetlands and other such places on the basis of the ‘ecosystem services’ they are thought to provide. I argue that this practice cannot account for one important way in which places are of value to human beings. When they play integral roles in our lives, particular places have a kind of value which cannot be adequately conceived in terms of service provision. Since it is in this respect limited, the ecosystem services framework can, I suggest, be criticised on grounds of justice.