In this Book

Ecological Ethics and the Human Soul
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
In Ecological Ethics and the Human Soul: Aquinas, Whitehead, and the Metaphysics of Value, Francisco J. Benzoni addresses the pervasive and destructive view that there is a moral gulf between human beings and other creatures. Thomas Aquinas, whose metaphysics entails such a moral gulf, holds that human beings are ultimately separate from nature. Alfred North Whitehead, in contrast, maintains that human beings are continuous with the rest of nature. These different metaphysical systems demand different ethical stances toward creation. Benzoni analyzes and challenges Thomas's understanding of the human soul, his primary justification for the moral separation, arguing that it is finally philosophically untenable. The author finds promising the alternative metaphysics of Whitehead, for whom human beings are a part of nature—even if the highest part; all creatures have a degree of subjectivity and creativity, and thus all have intrinsic value and moral worth, independent of subjective human valuation. Further, though there is difference, there is no moral gulf between God and the world. God is truly affected by the experience of creatures. Benzoni argues that if this vision of moral worth is articulated with sufficient force and clarity, it could help heal the human relation to our planet.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Frontmatter
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-9
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART I. Created Goodness and Moral Worth: Thomas' Bifurcation
  2. pp. 11-16
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter One: The Metaphysical Grounding of Goodness
  2. pp. 17-40
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Two: The Moral Bifurcation of Creation
  2. pp. 41-74
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART II. The Human Soul: Analysis and Critique
  2. p. 75
  1. Chapter Three: Thomas' Conception of the Human Soul
  2. pp. 77-92
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Four: The Soul as an Entity: A Critical Assessment
  2. pp. 93-123
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART III. The Unity and Moral Worth of All Creation
  2. p. 125
  1. Chapter Five: An Alternative Metaphysics
  2. pp. 127-161
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter Six: Intrinsic Value and Moral Worth
  2. pp. 162-177
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 178-182
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix A: Spiritual Change and Materiality
  2. pp. 183-187
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix B: God's Nature: The Controversy
  2. pp. 188-190
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 191-238
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 239-245
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 247-261
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.