Ontology, Ethics, and Sentir: Properly Situating Merleau-PontyMelissa Clarke
Environmental Values 11(2002): 211-225. doi: 10.3197/096327102129341064
Maurice Merleau-Ponty did not author an ethic, and yet it is possible to extend his ontological descriptions to an ethic similar to that espoused by post modern thinkers. It is even possible to distill an environmental ethic, or at least, one of consideration of the more-than-human, from his work. This paper attempts to do some preliminary work in light of this, and lays some groundwork for the future direction of an environmental ethic inspired by a Merleau-Pontian ontology. At the same time, it challenges the popularised view of Merleau-Ponty espoused by David Abram - viz., of Merleau-Ponty as an animist - and properly situates Merleau Ponty.
KEYWORDS: Merleau-Ponty, David Abram, Peter Singer, ontology, environmental ethics, moral pluralism
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