Study questions Hettinger, Nature Restoration as a Paradigm for the Human Relation with Nature


1.         How do restoration and preservation differ with regard to (1) how best to take care of nature, (2) nature’s key value (wildness or biodiversity?). and (3) humans separate from or part of nature?

2.         Describe four examples of different types of restoration.

3.         Explain what it means to criticize restoration as paternalistic domination of nature.

4.         Hettinger list what he considers five “insights” of the restoration paradigm; describe 3 of these. Do you agree they are important “insights?”

5.         What does it mean to say restoration is “anthropocentric?” Is restoration necessarily anthropocentric? What does Hettinger think about this? What do you think? Can restoration help nature for its own sake?

6.         Explain Hettinger’s argument that Katz can only embrace “anthropocentric restoration.”

7.         Explain what Jared Diamond means when he says “we must shoot deer to save nature.” Generalize this claim and use it to support the need for restoration.

8.         Explain the critique of preservationism (and Katz) according to which they fail to allow for full human participation in nature. Is this critique fair and important? Why or why not? Is modeling our relation to nature on our relation to art a helpful model? Explain

9.         Explain the human/nature apartheid model of the human relation with nature. Is this a helpful model? Why or why not?

10.       Is it important to have a positive vision of human’s place in nature?

11.       What is “primitivism?” What is the relation between preservation and primitivism? Is primitivism compatible with human flourishing?

12.       Hettinger describes four “perils” of the restoration paradigm. Describe three of them. Are these fair criticism of the restoration paradigm?

13.       In what sense to some restorationists think humans are parents of nature? Is this a virtuous way of conceiving of the human relation with nature? Does nature need humans?

14.       Discuss the relation between restoration and wildness of nature? Are they compatible? Are they opposed?

15.       How does Hettinger evaluate the following claim: “Restoration is the human gift back to nature and is a net-benefit to nature.” Can humans benefit nature? How?

16.       What model of restoration does Hettinger embrace? Gardening? Benefitting? Restitution? Cleaning up our mess? What model do you think makes most sense?

17.       What is Hettinger’s criticism of the idea that restoration provides a positive vision of humans relationship with nature and is a paradigm of a healthy human nature relationship.

18.       Evaluate Hettinger’s claims that human flourishing need not feed on wholesale destruction of nature.

19.       Is Hettinger right that restoration only has a minor place in a healthy human/nature relationship?