•  550
    The nature and role of the patient in biomedicine comprise issues central to bioethical inquiry. Given its developmental history grounded firmly in a backlash against 20th-century cases of egregious human subjects abuse, contemporary medical bioethics has come to rely on a fundamental assumption: the unit of care is the autonomous self-directing patient. In this article we examine first the structure of the feminist social critique of autonomy. Then we show that a parallel argument can be made a…Read more
  •  89
    Benedict de Spinoza, C.S. Peirce, and Gilles Deleuze delineate a trajectory through the history of ideas in the dialogue about the potentials and limitations of panpsychism, the view that world is fundamentally made up of mind. As a parallel trajectory to the panpsychism debate in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology, this approach can inform and enrich the discussion of the role and scope of mind in the natural world. The philosophies of mind developed by Deleuze and Peirce …Read more
  •  42
    Bioethics and the Challenge of the Ecological Individual
    Environmental Philosophy 13 (2): 215-238. 2016.
    Questions of individuality are traditionally predicated upon recognizing discrete entities whose behavior can be measured and whose value and agency can be meaningfully ascribed. We consider a series of challenges to the metaphysical concept of individuality as the ground of the self. We argue that an ecological conception of individuality renders ascriptions of autonomy to selves highly improbable. We find conceptual resources in the work of environmental philosopher Arne Naess, whose distincti…Read more
  •  34
    “Darwin und die englische Moral”: The Moral Consequences of Uexküll’s Umwelt Theory (review)
    with Morten Tønnessen
    Biosemiotics 6 (3): 437-447. 2013.
    Uexküll’s 1917 critique of what he calls the “English morality”, written during World War I, points the contemporary reader toward important implications of the translation of descriptive scientific models to normative ethical theories. A key figure motivating biosemiotics, Uexküll presents here a darker side: one where his Umwelt theory seems to motivate a bio-cultural hierarchy of value and worth, where some human beings are worth more than others precisely because of the constraints of their …Read more
  •  27
    Baudrillard’s simulated ecology
    Sign Systems Studies 41 (1): 82-92. 2013.
    Jean Baudrillard, the scholar and critic of postmodernity, struggled with questions of postmodern ontology: representation of the real through the semioticprocess of signification is threatened with the rise of simulacra, the simulated real. With this rise, seductive semiotic relationships between signs replace any traditional ontological representamen. This struggle has implications for environmentalism since the problems of contemporary environmental philosophy are rooted in problems with onto…Read more
  •  24
    An Ecological Turn in American Indian Environmental Ethics
    Environmental Philosophy 12 (1): 1-19. 2015.
    In this paper I argue that, instead of standing as an exemplar of contemporary environmentalism, North American Indian voices on the environment offer insights concerning ecological relationships that can be brought to bear on theories of environmental value and the politics of environmentalism. I argue that environmentally orthodox representations of Native views are further complicated by the metaphysics of local ecological knowledge. I then argue that moral ecologism, a normative view focused…Read more
  •  23
    Reflexive Principlism as an Effective Approach for Developing Ethical Reasoning in Engineering
    with Andrew O. Brightman
    Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (1): 275-291. 2016.
    An important goal of teaching ethics to engineering students is to enhance their ability to make well-reasoned ethical decisions in their engineering practice: a goal in line with the stated ethical codes of professional engineering organizations. While engineering educators have explored a wide range of methodologies for teaching ethics, a satisfying model for developing ethical reasoning skills has not been adopted broadly. In this paper we argue that a principlist-based approach to ethical re…Read more
  •  16
    Questions of individuality are traditionally predicated upon recognizing discrete entities whose behavior can be measured and whose value and agency can be meaningfully ascribed. We consider a series of challenges to the metaphysical concept of individuality as the ground of the self. We argue that an ecological conception of individuality renders ascriptions of autonomy to selves highly improbable. We find conceptual resources in the work of environmental philosopher Arne Naess, whose distincti…Read more
  •  14
    Beneath important ethical questions about the impacts of de-extinct species on ecosystems and the potential harms to individual organisms lies a more fundamental assumption; namely, that the thing being "de-extinct-ed" is indeed a member of previously existing species. This is the ontological assumption: that genetic make-up of the individual is both a necessary and sufficient condition for species membership. Questioning this ontological assumption poses an even more critical challenge for de-e…Read more
  •  13
    Meaning Matters: The Biosemiotic Basis of Bioethics
    Biosemiotics 5 (2): 181-191. 2012.
    If the central problem in philosophical ethics is determining and defining the scope of moral value, our normative ethical theories must be able to explain on what basis and to what extent entities have value. The scientific foundation of contemporary biosemiotic theory grounds a theory of moral value capable of addressing this problem. Namely, it suggests that what is morally relevant is semiosis. Within this framework, semiosis is a morally relevant and natural property of all living things th…Read more
  •  13
    Not Nanoethic, but Nanosemiotics
    Semiotics 708-715. 2008.
  •  11
    Teaching Ethics Ecologically
    Teaching Ethics 16 (2): 195-206. 2016.
    Narrative based real world case examples are powerful tools by which to help learners more empathetically engage the complexity of ethical conflicts and interactions, enabling clearer analysis of ecological ethical issues and overcoming apathy toward real-world responses. In this paper, I develop ecological ethical inquiry as a means by which to use narrative-based case studies to help ethicists connect to and empathize with other morally relevant individuals. I argue that ecological issues not …Read more
  •  10
    Baudrillard'i simuleeritud ökoloogia. Kokkuvõte
    Sign Systems Studies 41 (1): 92-92. 2013.
    Jean Baudrillard, the scholar and critic of postmodernity, struggled with questions of postmodern ontology: representation of the real through the semioticprocess of signification is threatened with the rise of simulacra, the simulated real. With this rise, seductive semiotic relationships between signs replace any traditional ontological representamen. This struggle has implications for environmentalism since the problems of contemporary environmental philosophy are rooted in problems with onto…Read more
  •  9
    Baudrillard’s simulated ecology
    Sign Systems Studies 41 (1): 82-92. 2013.
    Jean Baudrillard, the scholar and critic of postmodernity, struggled with questions of postmodern ontology: representation of the real through the semioticprocess of signification is threatened with the rise of simulacra, the simulated real. With this rise, seductive semiotic relationships between signs replace any traditional ontological representamen. This struggle has implications for environmentalism since the problems of contemporary environmental philosophy are rooted in problems with onto…Read more
  •  8
    Teaching Ethics Ecologically in advance
    Environmental Philosophy. forthcoming.
  •  3
    On zoosemiotics and bridging the value gap
    Semiotica 2014 (198): 121-135. 2014.
  •  2
    Given the rapid changes in technology and the growing use of electronic media there is a need for better understanding the ethical and social implications of digital media. The effects of digital media have significant ethical implications which are easy to overlook, given the embeddedness of the digital in our everyday lives. _Understanding Digital Ethics_ offers a philosophically grounded consideration of digital ethics and: Defines and critically evaluates the impact of digital ethics on soci…Read more