fbpx

Sand county almanac by aldo leopold land ethic

 

Read Leopold’s “The Land Ethic” in Sand County Almanac. You will notice that is organized in sections with subtitles.  Read the essay one section at a time.  As you conclude each section, review it and note the important concepts.  This is a concept-driven argument.  Underline important quotes or sentences that you like.  Think about how this essay, written a long time ago, long before the reality of climate change was understood, is relevant to current problems and examples.

Remember, ethics provide context for our individual actions relative to larger social values. Leopold understood that ultimately the health of land, and in turn human health, would be determined by people’s values. A Sand County Almanac ends with Leopold’s challenge to individuals and communities to join in the “intellectual and emotional” evolution of a land ethic.

As you read, draft answers to the questions below (copy/past into a Word doc).  Then, once you have finished, carefully revise and edit your responses before submitting:

Introduction

1. Explain the extended analogy to slavery.

2. What is the deeper significance or importance of these key conceptsProperty and Expediency?

3. Paraphrase the suggestive claim: “During the last three thousand years which have since elapsed, ethical criteria have been extended to many fields of conduct, with corresponding shrinkages in those judged by expediency only” (202). Is there a thesis here?

The Ethical Sequence

4. In what sense are ethics “a process in ecological evolution”?

5. How are ecological and philosophical ethics analogous?  What is the common “tendency”?

6. Elaborate on the idea of the key concept: co-operation.  Why is cooperation important to Leopold?

7. Paraphrase: “An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions, that the path of social expediency is not discernable to the average individual.  Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations.  Ethics are possibly a kind of community instinct in-the-making” (203).

The Community Concept

8. How exactly does Leopold redefine the concept of “community” for his argument?

9. How does Leopold anticipate an objection to his position?  How does he refute it?

10. Paraphrase: “In short, the land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiensfrom conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it” (204).

11. Characterize the wrong kind of thinking—that of the conqueror, or Abraham–in this argument.

12. There are two examples from American history (205-6). Each is aimed at demonstrating a different outcome related to the idea that humans are part of a “biotic team.” The first is the story of Kentucky bluegrass; the second is about the loss of grasslands in the Southwest.  Explain these examples and how they support his argument.

The Ecological Conscience

13. Paraphrase: “Obligations have no meaning without conscience, and the problem we face is the extension of the social conscience from people to land. No important change in ethics was ever accomplished without an internal change in our intellectual emphasis, loyalties, affections, and convictions.” (209-10).

Substitutes for a Land Ethic

14. What are some examples of substitutes—or what is NOT a land ethic?

15. What are some of the consequences of not having a real land ethic?

16. What is the conclusion to be drawn from this section?

The Land Pyramid

In your notebook, draw the several “mental” images “of land as a biotic mechanism.

17. How does the land pyramid— “a tangle of chains so complex as to seem disorderly” (215)—help Leopold demonstrate his key concepts of co-operation and community?

18. How have we altered the “energy circuit” or pyramid? What are the “penalties” (218)?

Land Health and the A-B Cleavage

19. This section discusses the split between different points of view on land and conservation:  the ecological versus the agronomical (or agricultural).  In your own words, explain the differences in perspective.

The Outlook

20. Leopold writes, “One of the requisites for an ecological comprehension of land is an understanding of ecology, and this is by no means co-extensive with education; in fact, most higher education seems deliberately to avoid ecological concepts” (224).  Is this true? Explain.

21. He also leaves us with this memorable statement: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise” (225).  How could such a seemingly simple set of measurements work?

22. One of the last words of the argument is “objective” (226).  This reminds us of the claim in “Thinking Like a Mountain.”  How are these two arguments—in a simple way—connected?

Paper Writing Center
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.

Essays

Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.

Admissions

Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.

Reviews

Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.

Reviews

Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.