Environmental Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 2, Fall 2017

Oli Stephano
Pages 317-338

Spinoza, Ecology, and Immanent Ethics
Beside Moral Considerability

This paper develops an immanent ecological ethics that locates human flourishing within sustaining ecological relationships. I outline the features of an immanent ethics drawn from Spinoza, and indicate how this model addresses gaps left by approaches based in moral considerability. I argue that an immanent ecological ethics provides unique resources for contesting anthropogenic harm, by 1) shifting the focus from what qualifies as a moral subject to what bodies can or cannot do under particular relations, 2) emphasizing the constitutive role of interaction and interdependence in ecosystemic existence, and 3) extending ethical regard to ecologically-ramified scales.