Environmental Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 2, Fall 2012

Matthew C. Ally
Pages 95-121

Ecologizing Sartre’s Ontology
Nature, Science, and Dialectics

I argue that Sartre’s philosophy can be both broadened in its aspirations and deepened in its implications through dialogue with the life sciences. Section 1 introduces the philosophical terrain. Section 2 explores Sartre’s evolving understanding of nature and human relations with nature. Section 3 explores Sartre’s perspectives on scientific inquiry, natural history, and dialectical reason. Section 4 outlines recent developments in the life sciences that bear directly on Sartre’s quiet curiosity about a naturalistic dialectics. Section 5 suggests how these developments constitute progress toward an “ecologized” dialectical philosophy consistent with Sartre’s mature ontology of praxis and pertinent to addressing the burgeoning socioecological crisis.