The other in a sand county almanac: Aldo Leopold's animals and his wild-animal ethic

J. Baird Callicott, Jonathan Parker, Jordan Batson, Nathan Bell, Keith Brown, Samantha Moss, Alexandria Poole, John Wooding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Much philosophical attention has been devoted to “The Land Ethic,” especially by Anglo-American philosophers, but little has been paid to A Sand County Almanac as a whole. Read through the lens of continental philosophy, A Sand County Almanac promulgates an evolutionary-ecological world view and effects a personal self- and a species-specific Self-transformation in its audience. It’s author, Aldo Leopold, realizes these aims through descriptive reflection that has something in common with phenomenology-although Leopold was by no stretch of the imagination a phenomenologist. Consideration of human-animal intersubjectivity, thematized in A Sand County Almanac, brings to light the moral problem of hunting and killing animal subjects. Leopold does not confront that problem, but it is confronted and resolved by Jose Ortega y Gassett, Henry Beston, and Paul Shepard in terms of an appropriate human relationship with wild-animal Others. Comparison with the genuinely Other-based Leopold-Ortega-Beston-Shepard wild-animal ethic shows the purportedly Other-based human and possibly animal ethic of Emmanuel Levinas actually to be Same-based after all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-146
JournalEnvironmental Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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