XIX. Franzese, Ethics of Energy Sergio Franzese, The Ethics of Energy. William James’s Moral Philosophy in Focus, Frankfurt / Paris / Lancaster, ontos verlag, PT XIX, 2008. (237 p. ; 978-3-86838-011-8 ; 89 €) William James’s moral philosophy is neither a remaking of utilitarianism nor it is a theory of values as it is assumed by the majority of his interpreters. Instead James offers an ethical view consistently arising out of valorization of energy of his days, and effecting a counter-tendency to the two great popular scientific currents of the 19th century : the universalizing of Darwinism and the pessimistic ideologies of social entropy. James’s ethics moves away from the traditional idealistic or utilitarian grounds and takes place against the background of an up-and-coming philosophical anthropology hinged on the primacy of action. Human activity, however, needs to be understood in relation to Energy as the fabric of the universe pervading the whole spectrum of being in a continuum in which humanity and divinty are strictly intertwined. Ethics of energy means an ethics that organizes energy, as well as an ethics that stems out of energy. This constitutive ambiguity of the genitive cannot be resolved but rather needs to be fully affirmed as the leading symptom of the ontological situation out of which such an ethics originates. The ethics James so coarsely outlined is intended to be used to organize energy, precisely because what is at stake in it is the energetic and active nature of the human being as the indeterminate being. Our need, our will and capability to organize energy occurs precisely because energy is the very texture of being. Sergio Franzese is Ph.D. in Philosophy and Assistant Professor of History of Philosophy at the Dept. of Social Science and Communication at Università del Salento (Lecce – Italy). He is the author of L’uomo indeterminato. Saggio su William James (Roma : D’Anselmi, 2000), the editor of Nietzsche e l’America (Pisa : ETS, 2005) and the co-editor of Fringes of Religious Experience (Frankfurt a. M. : Ontos Verlag, 2007). Table of contents Introduction 1. William James’s Moral Philosophy in Focus 2. The Anthropological Question 3. Habits and Ethics 4. The Question of Energy 5. The Ethics of Energy Bibliography Index

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