Abstract

Abstract:

Many accounts in environmental ethics converge on relationality as the catalyst of humans' responsibility towards other-than-human beings. But what exactly is relationality and how can the amorphous notion be specified? In search of a conceptual basis for human-animal relations, I show how questions about the nature of intersubjectivity are entwined with questions about the nature of reality. In my approach to answering these questions, I connect empirical results, insights from Edmund Husserl's phenomenology and from Jakob von Uexküll's theory of Umwelten. Based on this synthesis, I explain how beings endowed with radically different subjective experiences–what I call organisms' respective realities–are nevertheless capable of meaningfully relating to one another and have their minds "merge" in intersubjective encounters. I conclude that relationality is a "real" possibility for mediating ethical action.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-5306
Print ISSN
1085-6633
Pages
pp. 25-57
Launched on MUSE
2017-12-02
Open Access
No
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