05 October 2010
The problem, I think, is that there's too much focus on qualities of discrete entities. Does x have intrinsic value? Does x suffer? Is x useful to us - aesthetically, functionally, or otherwise? I would like to know if anyone has tried composing something like a relational ethic. That is, instead of focusing on the intrinsic or extrinsic properties of an entity, we focus on the qualities of our relationship to that entity and to other entities that take part in the relationship. So instead of arguing that x has some quality that grants it moral considerability, we could argue that our relationship to x ought to be such that we both benefit from it.
I'm not sure if that makes sense - it's only a very vague impression in my mind. If someone is aware of where these kinds of ideas might be more developed, please let me know. I'm wondering in particular, what would a Deleuzian environmental ethic look like? What would a Whiteheadian environmental ethic look like?