However, it expands the account to include things that enter human preference structures but are not exchanged in organized markets. This extension and completion of a utilitarian account, where preservation of biodiversity is at issue, is useful because it shows that commercial interests do not always prevail over economic arguments.

The claim that it is useful to complete this utilitarian account does not depend on any prior claim that the utilitarian framework is itself the preferred ethical system. Environmental goals that may be served by arguments that the biota has rights that should be considered, or that it is the beneficiary of duties and obligations deriving from ethical principles incumbent on humans, may also be served by completing a utilitarian account that demonstrates the value implications of human preferences that extend beyond commercial goods to include biodiversity. Some people would argue that a complete discussion of the value of biodiversity should extend beyond utilitarian concerns. Even these people would, presumably, prefer a reasonably complete and balanced utilitarian analysis to the truncated and distorted utilitarian analysis that emerges from commercial accounts.


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