Mr Finian Worrall

Research project: Against Ecology: Law, Ethics, and Activism on a Dynamic Planet


Contemporary environmental law, ethics, and activism all find their normative and epistemological basis in ecological science, and rely on the principles of ecology to understand and address environmental issues. But the ecological paradigm necessary for a normative account of environmental crisis—one which views ecosystems as integrated, stable, and teleological—has been seriously challenged within ecology in the past few decades. Furthermore, while the principles of ecology are considered by environmentalists as inherently normative, their application to law and policy has proved morally questionable due to an emphasis on the functionality of ecosystem processes. By relying on ecological facts and techniques, contemporary environmentalism depoliticises the environmental crisis and obscures relations of power between humans, nonhumans, and their habitats. To what extent is ecology implicated in the struggle for biopolitical control, and can it be re-appropriated? Can the new, ‘non-equilibrium' paradigm in ecology be used to resist the technoscientific domination of nature?


I completed my BA (Hons) in 2018 at the University of Cape Town in English Studies. I came to London in 2019 and joined the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) where I completed a MPhil in Philosophy in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Catherine Malabou. During my MPhil I studied for a semester at Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint-Denis in 2020 which was taught and assessed in French.

I began my PhD at the CRMEP in 2022 with a Techne AHRC full studentship.

Areas of research interest

  • Modern European philosophy
  • Philosophy of science
  • Ecology
  • Environmental ethics
  • Metaphysics and ontology
  • Environmental Law


  • BA (Hons) in English Studies, University of Cape Town
  • MPhil in Philosophy, Kingston University

Funding or awards received

  • Techne AHRC Studentship (2022)