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Environmental Ethics

Volume 16, Issue 4, Winter 1994

Glenn McGee
Pages 419-424

The Relevance of Foucault to Whiteheadian Environmental Ethics

Although he devotes little explicit analysis to ethics, Whitehead’s understanding of the human moral life immerses both human moral agency and environmental ethics in the natural world, judging good actions in the context of complex and interdependent histories of value present in societies of what he calls actual occasions. In this sense, Whiteheadian environmental ethics draws on the most interesting features of Michel Foucault’s genealogies of values that suffuse institutions. Nevertheless, a Whiteheadian notion of environmental ethics exceeds Foucault’s work in that Whitehead acknowledges the possibility of responsible human values and actions with regard to the environment.

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