Human ecology. . . allows one to reflect with fewer intellectual stumbling blocks upon the design and dynamism of the human person and his life experience. That is, human ecology more readily calls to mind the reality that the human person is created and yet, by his choices, creates himself; that he is deeply influenced by and, in turn, influences others; that he is conditioned by the environment in which he finds himself and yet is capable of transcending it. The analogy to natural ecology is helpful in today’s philosophical climate, because it implies an interdependence of influences and actors, a complexity of causes and effects, while calling for empirical and scientific validation. Just as we can measure toxins in our waterways, we can use social science to empirically corroborate the destructive “downstream effects” of the pill, pornography, and fatherlessness on real women, men, and children. Contrary to the prevailing libertarian view, the ecological analogy also reveals that the putatively “harmless” acts of solitary individuals, when adopted by a large proportion of the population, can have deeply harmful effects.
Erika Bachiochi, Safeguarding the Conditions for an Authentic Human Ecology