Ecology, Eco-phenomenology, and the Immanent Ethics of Nature


Like ecology, eco-phenomenology – a branch of environmental ethics claiming that the so-called “natural values” emerge spontaneously in our experience and seeking to draw ethical implications from this – tries to deal with the ecological crisis. However, the question still remains – even after almost 40 years of eco-phenomenology – in what sense a phenomenological ethics of nature is possible and what are these natural values. The article attempts to respond to these questions against the background of contemporary (eco-)phenomenology. Although it is still true that Husserl’s Lebenswelt is the source of all values, including those of nature, Husserl’s descriptions of the lifeworld must be replaced by more dynamic descriptions of contemporary phenomenology in France, which focuses on the “event feature” of appearing (événementialité de l’apparaître). The possibility of a phenomenological ethics of nature then seems to lie in what Deleuze sums up with the slogan: “to be worthy of the event”.

Keywords: eco-phenomenology, French phenomenology, environmental ethics, Gilles Deleuze, environmental crisis, natural values, transcendence, event

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