Ethics of Intrasubjectivity

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= "Relational worldviews and ontologies are increasingly relevant for our understanding of humanity’s role in the Anthropocene"


Zack Walsh:

"It is not surprising then that relational worldviews and ontologies like those found in Buddhism are increasingly relevant for our understanding of humanity’s role in the Anthropocene. The complexity of life in the Anthropocene not only questions the relationship between humans and nature; it also demands the development of an ethics that respects the dignity and agency of nonhuman actors, both living and nonliving. Extending commoning beyond peer-to-peer economics, so that we extend care to every being, becomes possible if it is enacted by commoners who follow an ethics of what I call intra-subjectivity. An ethics of intra-subjectivity demands understanding that nature is not an element separated from us, but co-produced in our daily interactions." (


Zack Walsh:

"An ethics of intra-subjectivity distinguishes itself from the notion of inter-dependence, in so far as it highlights how relationships are not only externally dependent, but internally dependent and always present to one’s inner awareness. Intra-subjectivity thus explains how all beings are related vis-à-vis our experience of one another. Thus, the deeper we connect with our own suffering, the more we realize our suffering’s constituent relation to the suffering of others and the more we act to serve others as extensions of ourselves.

An ethics of intra-subjectivity allows us to more intimately understand how we co-produce nature-cultures and how they may more positively address systemic socio-ecological crises. Developing an ethics of care that extends to the many differently abled, human and nonhuman, beings in the Anthropocene entails queering our notions of subjectivity and agency. This will help to answer complex questions about what it means to be human, whose lives matter, how we gift and protect human dignity, and how we envision the collective conditions of transformation toward a more convivial and hospitable world.

Commoning is a mode of relating to each other, both materially and interpersonally, through an enhanced understanding of our non-separateness, our co-dependence, and together-ness. Well-established commons that integrate cooperatives and grassroots organizations, such as Cecosesola in Venezuela or Cooperativa Integral Catalana in Spain, provide for the needs of everyone in their diverse communities by practicing transparency, equality, and respect. Building trust and exercising responsibility are the essential ingredients that allow for successful self-management and self-organization.20 As described by ubuntu21, I am because you are. Applied to the Buddhist figure of the bodhisattva, one might understand that one’s liberation is co-produced by another’s liberation, as an entanglement of our worldly and spiritual fates. Expanding inclusivity becomes about enhancing everyone’s freedom—not just the marginalized. And since consciousness is supported and maintained by material infrastructures and desires, material transformation and transformation of consciousness go hand-in-hand." (