From Individuality to Ecological Attunement in Whitehead and Deleuze
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My dissertation explores the ecological implications of a process metaphysics, focusing in particular on subjectivity. Primarily using the work of Whitehead and Deleuze, I explore how taking a process metaphysics seriously undoes the assumption that an individual self is a discretely bounded and independent subject. I argue that this framework troubles expansive identifications of the self with a unified whole that one finds in some metaphysically inflected strands of environmental thought (for example Deep Ecology). Instead, it encourages an orientation towards the qualitative and affective aspects of micro-relational moments, since these are the most ‘real’ metaphysically. Macro-level entities such as the self (as well as other ‘wholes’) are understood as abstractions from these primary occasions. I consider the existential impacts of taking these views seriously, in particular with regard to the transformed standing of tertiary or affective qualities that follows from the metaphysical view developed.