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Hammou eds. University Press of Bordeaux, , France. Shavit, and Z. Introduction to Examining Multiculturalism in Israel Magness Senderovitz and N.

Neeman, eds. Nicolas de Cues et G. Rice, North American Spinoza Society, Bulletin de bibliographie spinoziste , xxii, France. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.

Notify me of new posts via email. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here The animals creating the show perceive it at the same time, each its own way. And in , there are less animals and the sounds they perceive are less diverse. The total beauty is thus reduced in two ways.


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Preserving biodiversity means preserving the beauty of perceptions on the one hand, but this beauty, Leibniz explains, is also increased by the numbers of perceivers who can appreciate it. Even if one can find an installation of plastic bags beautiful, such a work can never compete with the spectacle of nature, because in this case, the living beings increase the total beauty of the work by perceiving it from multiple points of view.

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She examines the concept of value, which is often used by the advocates of this philosophical current. The latter often defend the idea that natural beings have an intrinsic value, regardless of any extrinsic or instrumental value. According to Leibniz, indeed, each monad perceives, though in varying degrees of clarity, all the other monads.

In this way, all the monads express one another. In addition, a monad is defined by the series of all its perceptions. In order to be myself, I need all the other beings. Thus I do not have an intrinsic identity independently of the other beings contributing to my perceptions—which produce my identity.

The finch I hear has value to me only because it participates in my perceptions and thus in my identity.

Leibniz’s Philosophy of Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

However, this bird also participates in the perceptions of many other beings. It participates in the perceptions of the other members of my family, but also in those of the other birds in the neighborhood. In a less distinct way, this finch can also participate in the perceptions of the passerby in the street, in those of the insects nearby or of the dogs in the building next door… Even if it is not on an auditory level, the plants also feel the air vibrations caused by the bird singing.

For all these beings as for me, the finch has value only insofar as it participates in their perceptions. For this reason, a being has all the more value when it participates in the perception of a greater number of beings. One of the consequences of the mutual expression of all the monads is that the intrinsic value of a being is at the same time an extrinsic value. Phemister then challenges the ecophilosophers who defend the idea that certain beings have a purely intrinsic, non-relational value:.

In light of this, the idea that an ecological theory of intrinsic value should be couched in terms of the non relational properties of things begins to look decidedly at odds with itself. Therefore, she finds the relational conception of value she builds with Leibniz more relevant for ecophilosophy. We have just pointed out two possible ways of linking Leibnizian perspectivism to current ecophilosophy.

This perspectivism gives us a reason to defend biodiversity: it ensures the beauty of the life spectacle and allows a greater number of beings to perceive it. Moreover, this perspectivism emphasizes the interconnectedness of all beings, since each being participates in one way or another in what others perceive. Leibniz then, according to P. Phemister, makes it possible to construct a concept of value that is richer and more adapted for ecology.

Phemister specifies that bioegalitarianism is worthy in principle since, in the event of a conflict of interest, those who have the liveliest perceptions and Leibniz considers that humans have better perceptions than the other animals should be favored. A somewhat stricter discussion of this restrictive clause would, however, have been valuable.

The conflicting interests are often unbalanced and difficult to compare. Phemister also provides a creative redevelopment of the relational conception of time and of space defended by Leibniz. The latter argues in favor of such a conception in his controversy with Samuel Clark, a relative of Isaac Newton.

His argument is therefore highly metaphysical. However, P.

Gottfried Wilhelm Baron von Leibniz

A space does not exist independently of the relations that are cultivated in it my apartment would not be the same if other people lived in it. Similarly, an ecosystem is essentially relational; it develops as beings meet. When a forest is destroyed, billions of relationships built over more or less long periods are destroyed at the same time.

Finally, P. Phemister takes up the guiding principle of Leibnizian ethics and frames it in the context of current ecological debates. Leibniz only applied this principle to situations involving humans exclusively, because he restricted the domain of morality to beings endowed with reason. Phemister does not question the attribution of reason to humans alone. She nevertheless proposes to generalize the moral principle inviting us to put ourselves in place of the other, in order to approach our interspecific ethical relationships: if I were an albatross, how would I perceive the plastic waste in the ocean?

If I were a capuchin, how would I perceive large-scale slaughter? If I were a penguin, how would I perceive the melting of the ice?

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The author suggests that we should even try to put ourselves in the place of plants, amebae or other microorganisms. This stretching of the imagination makes it possible to increase concretely the number of points of view we take into account when we deliberate in order to act. Phemister manages to think the ecological disaster in an original way thanks to an immersion in past philosophy.


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As the author explains in the first chapter of her book, these two philosophers of the seventeenth century show some affinities, namely because they both give a great deal of importance to the interconnectedness of beings. Phemister, however, considers that the central proposition of Ethics according to which the substance is one—God or nature—is problematic.