Environmental Philosophy

Volume 20, Issue 1, Spring 2023

Ana Vieyra
Pages 127-154

Naturalizing Value and Hegel’s Notion of the Impotence of Nature

In this paper I suggest an alternative reading of the value of Hegel’s systematic approach to nature from the perspective of environmental philosophy. Taking the paradigmatic example of the “new materialist” ontologies, I present the problems with an inflationary justification for the argument for the need of a shift in the “scientific” representation of nature. On the basis of these problems, I suggest that Hegel’s view of nature as axiologically impotent sheds light into why emancipatory environmental theory needs not hinge on a determinate understanding of nature. In my reading, this rejection can be harmonized with the asymmetric nature of our responsibility towards non-human nature.