Created and Maintained by Wayne Stewart.
This easy-to-use site presents a well written ecological thesis which
unites naturalism with metaphysics. In dedicating his work "to a new Athena, icon of Mind at peace with
Nature," Stewart opens human thought to the recovery of our ethical relationship with what is more (or less) than merely human, even to the
invertebrates, applying recent discoveries to the most ancient of philosophical concerns -- our ontologic and ethical relations with other
living beings; forcing us to wonder just where our metaphysical logics of
domination have come from.
Are complex structures (like the central nervous system, memory,
subjectivity, continuity) simply descriptions of nature's intricacy? Should
they be used as criteria for justifying subordination? Or, can our concern
over nature's 'superior' beings in some way extend an ethics beyond our traditional, historical hierarchies? In any event, if you've ever felt a
(moral) difference between eating animals and eating vegetables, read Stewart's work to find out why.
This site draws upon the works of naturalists - also, it draws upon the
works of metaphysical philosophers. And this may seem an odd juxtaposition
of materials, as the two disciplines share little common ground at present.
Dialogues between naturalists and metaphysical philosophers can be
contentious; and we, being audience to the ensuing disagreements, are led to
believe that a fundamental dichotomy separates the naturalistic and metaphysical disciplines - or worse, to believe that one discipline
can prosper only at the expense of the other. But these common notions are not sound. This document is an essay
which proves that naturalism and metaphysical philosophy can coexist peacefully in the
The essay itself comprises nineteen chapters. The chapters are best
read in sequential order, starting at Chapter 1. Readers who desire to
judge the philosophy's practical value may prefer to skip ahead to Chapter 18. Metaphysics by Default can be useful to the
ethicist or ecologist, and Chapter 18 explores this potential utility.
Some supporting documents are also available through site navigation:
| Public forums have been opened, and all are welcome to contribute messages.|
| A schedule lists the dates of upcoming public lectures. |
| Appendices organize the essay's ancillary software programs and mathematical derivations.|
| Works cited within the essay are listed after the appendices.|