In this article, I want to put Whitehead to work in the context of the discourse of sustainable development. My argument will be that Whitehead offers a way of thinking about and doing metaphysics that challenges the logic of anthropocentrism that drives much of the thinking around sustainable development. First, I will introduce the idea of sustainable development and give a brief history. Second, I will give an archaeology of sustainable development by exploring one of its fault lines: the divide that separates the anthropocentric from the nonanthropocentric, the human from the nonhuman. I will give examples of each approach and argue that Whitehead provides a metaphysics that attempts to overcome the “bifurcation of nature” and gives us a nonanthropocentric opening onto the ethical that promises new ways to think and practice sustainable development.

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