The field of “science studies” has often been suspected of dubious moral grounds because of its intensive concern with nonhumans; the accusation is made by those who use a roughly Kantian definition of what it is to occupy the moral high ground. By evaluating four contrasting texts (by Comte-Sponville, Kant, Serres, and Lovelock) in tandem, this article explores what an “objective morality” would look like, and it considers how to compare the Kantian axiology with the actor-network theory's possible definition of a thing-oriented morality. Especially important in this context is the moral intensity of a text, which this article defines semiotically in terms of the ability to feel responsible by responding to the “call” of more beings than the human beings so exclusively attended to in the moralist tradition.
Research Article|April 01 2010
Morality or Moralism?: An Exercise in Sensitization
Common Knowledge (2010) 16 (2): 311-330.