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Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

    ESEP prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00211

    Deep ecology and the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas: the importance of moving from biocentric responsibility to environmental justice

    Pehuén Barzola Elizagaray*, Ofelia Agoglia

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Environmental theory and practice can benefit greatly from Emmanuel Levinas’ non-ontological philosophy of the Other in order to address the current global environmental crisis. From this viewpoint, this article focuses on two major positions within deep ecology. We discuss the significance of transitioning from one of them, which represents biocentric responsibility, to the other, which seeks to achieve environmental justice by challenging the hegemony of institutionalised environmentalism. In Levinasian terms, this is represented by moving from the anarchic realm of ethics (face-to-face) to the totalizing realm of politics (humanity), where the naked face of the Other becomes visible in the presence of a Third, and decision-making and concrete disputes resolution becomes necessary. Within this framework, historical and current inequalities compel the global North to degrow in order to allow the Others to weather the consequences of resources overconsumption and inequality.