Shadow and shade: The ethopoietics of enlightenment

Ethics, Place and Environment 6 (2):117 – 130 (2003)
Modern Western thought and culture have envisaged their task in terms of a metaphorics, a metaphysics and a technics of 'enlightenment'. However, the ethical and environmental implications of this determination to dispel all shadows have become increasingly pernicious as modernity both extends and alters the conceptualization and employment of (a now artificial) light as a tool of discovery and control. Drawing on the work of Foucault and Benjamin amongst others, this paper seeks to illustrate, through a critical ethopoietics, the 'speculative aporia' of contemporary society from the perspective of radical ecology. The world does not just reflect our own instrumental interests: it has an elusive, shadowy existence of its own that can impinge upon our ethical perceptions.
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