Constellations, Mediation and Mimesis: Relationality in Ethical life

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


How can relationality help us understand ethical life? In this paper I argue that traditional forms of moral philosophy predicated on the individual not only disavow relationality but induce indifference towards others. Instead of offering normative justifications or foundations for individual action, I consider the relationality within ethical life. I maintain that ethical life is a contingent possibility mediated by particular constellations of concepts, discourses and material structures. As such I argue that ethical life is not instituted on abstract principles but through mimetically constituted relations with our human and non-human others. I explain that mimesis is both a relational way of doing justice to things in their particularity and an ongoing affirmation of our relations with others. Understanding ethical life means to go beyond theories of
recognition, to see that mimesis extends outside human relations to our relationship with the material world. Subsequently I argue that mimesis displaces the individual by bringing persons and the worlds we inhabit into an ethical relation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2023
Event On Relationalities: Politics, Narrative, Sociality - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20235 Apr 2023


Conference On Relationalities: Politics, Narrative, Sociality
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • ethical life
  • constellations
  • Butler
  • Adorno
  • mimesis


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