Creatures as creative: Callicott and Whitehead on creaturely value

Environmental Ethics 28 (1):37-56 (2006)
Abstract
Alfred North Whitehead’s metaphysics provides a means for overcoming the dualism embedded in J. Baird Callicott’s “postmodern” axiology. Indeed, the lessons Callicott draws from the new physics and ecology imply Whitehead’s position. While Callicott holds that subjectivity and valuing require consciousness, Whitehead argues that subjectivity and valuing characterize all metaphysically basic entities, conscious and non-conscious. Removing the constraint that valuing requires consciousness is a slight shift, but it makes all the difference. By jettisoning this constraint, we can develop a robust account of intrinsic value that overcomes Callicott’s duality, while retaining his insights that valuing requires a valuer and fluent energy is more fundamental than discrete entities
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