It's not a problem at all when species die out, says 'folk philosopher' Bas Haring. He shouldn't count on getting much agreement, though, in the Studium Generale debate on Wednesday in Wageningen.
'I don't agree with him in many aspects,' says Jozef Keulartz, assistant professor of Applied Philosophy and one of the debaters. For example, he feels that Haring has played down the importance of the current speed of dying out, and adopts a 'despotic anthropomorphism' in which the human being is the gauge for everything else. The book is also full of 'dreadful comparisons' and is outright childish, feels Keulartz. 'Take this argument: There is nothing wrong with losing biodiversity since we get plastic pandas in return.'
Since its publication, the book has received strong criticisms. First reader and NIOO ecologist Louise Vet remarked that Haring's line of thought sent 'chills down her spine'. To find out how Haring defends himself against all these criticisms, be in Room c222 in the Forum on Wednesday at 8 pm.