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Palgrave Macmillan

Ecological Ethics and Living Subjectivity in Hegel's Logic

The Middle Voice of Autopoietic Life

ISBN 9781137412102
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

By interweaving Hegelian dialectic and the middle voice, this book develops a holistic account of life, nature, and the ethical orientation of human beings with respect to them, without falling into the trap of either subjecting human rights to totality or relegating non-human beings and their habitats to instrumentalism. Both ontological problems that have arisen in the conceptualization of non-human life as well as ethical problems that arise within human relations to non-human living beings and their ecosystems are addressed. Presenting a systematic derivation of categories, life is shown to be irreducible to mechanico-chemical processes and that, taken together with the sphere of rights and obligations unique to human beings, the specific character of the category of life implies an ecological ethic whose object of concern includes species as well as habitats. The ontological character of life is in turn clarified in terms of the middle voice, providing a philosophically grounded human-nature holism that preserves the specific differences important for both inter-human and ecological ethics on the one hand and for both philosophy and the empirical sciences on the other.

Wendell Kisner has been teaching for over 20 years and is Assistant Professor for the MA-Integrated Studies and Philosophy Programs at Athabasca University, Canada. His research and instructional interests focus on the texts of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Plato, Deleuze, Badiou, Agamben, Zizek, and Rousseau, and topical areas of interest include ecological thought, philosophy of biology, and political philosophy.

Acknowledgements
1. Introduction: Life, Mechanism, and Dialectical Logic
2. Life in the Middle Voice
3. The Emergence of Life from Mechanico-Chemical Processes
4. The Biologic of Life
5. An Ecological Ethic
6. From Ontological Determinacy to Natural Contingency
7. The Biologic of Autopoiesis
8. Conclusion
References
Index

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