Eros After Nature

Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 99 (3):223-245 (2016)
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Abstract

On ground shared by environmental hermeneutics, critical social theory, and environmentally minded feminism, this article attempts to conciliate between the nearly antithetical ethical viewpoints of environmental philosophers David Abram and Steven Vogel. It will demonstrate first that Abram’s linguistic arguments for extending ethical considerability to nonhuman nature succumb to two of Vogel’s debilitating critiques, which it labels the social constructivist critique and the discourse ethics critique, and secondly that Abram fails to guard against the problem of human-human oppression. The article also points out, on the other hand, that while Vogel evades the problem of human-human oppression, his view fails to protect against the problem of dangerous anthropocentrism. Operating within the boundaries that Vogel establishes, it will seek to avoid the pitfalls of Abram’s view, to address the underlying ideology that leads to both types of oppression, and to eliminate the problem of dangerous anthropocentrism. To do so it draws upon the arguments of Trish Glazebrook, contending that Abram’s appeals to the “speech” of nature can be more effectively conceptualized as erotic appeals, and that engaging in this call-and-response eros promotes the development of virtues that undermine our current ideology and extend to both the human and the nonhuman.

Author's Profile

Chandler D. Rogers
Gonzaga University

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