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141. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Adam Konopka A Renewal of Husserl’s Critique of Naturalism: Towards the Via Media of Ecological Phenomenology
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This essay argues that phenomenology is uniquely suited to critique naturalism without lapsing into a romantic, anti-scientific, or dystopian view of modern science. This argument situates Husserl’s retrieval of the environmental relation in the Vienna Lecture between two alternative tendencies in contemporary ecological phenomenology: 1) the rejection of or indifference to the positive sciences, and 2) the adoption of naturalism in phenomenological methodology. On the one hand, the claim is that the phenomenological return to the environment should not imply a rejection of methodological naturalism. On the other hand, while an ecological phenomenology is consistent with naturalistic investigation, there is nevertheless a heterogeneity between the two. In short, phenomenology need not become naturalized in order for it to be ecological.
142. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Lester Embree A Beginning for the Phenomenological Theory of Primate Ethology
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To establish a starting point for a phenomenological theory of the science of primate ethology, this essay first reviews how the phenomenological philosophers Aron Gurwitsch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty made use of the Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Köhler’s description of chimpanzee consciousness and its objects and then considers primate ethology in light of the theory of the cultural sciences in the work of Gurwitsch in addition to that of Alfred Schutz.
143. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Wendy Lynn Lee Environmental Pragmatism Revisited: Human-Centeredness, Language, and the Future of Aesthetic Experience
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Environmental pragmatism is rightly described as “cynical” if good reasons exist to worry its advocates would endorse oppressive measures to achieve its goals. Given the history of human chauvinism, moreover, this worry is not far-fetched. It is, however, misguided: conflation not-withstanding, human chauvinism and human-centeredness (anthropocentrism) are not the same thing. “Chauvinism” describes an objectionable but alterable course of human history; anthropocentrism is an indigenous feature of the experiential conditions of Homo sapiens from which no particular course of human history necessarily follows. Properly understood, I argue, human-centeredness is an ally in the quest for environmental responsibility—not its foe.
144. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Jessica Pierce Mice in the Sink: On the Expression of Empathy In Animals
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Empathy refers to a whole class or “cluster” of behaviors based in emotional linkage between individuals. The capacity for empathy is not unique to humans, but has evolved in a range of mammals that live in complex social groups. There is good evidence for empathy in primates, pachyderms, cetaceans, social carnivores, and rodents. Because empathy is grounded in the same neurological architecture as other prosocial behaviors such as trust, reciprocity, cooperation, and fairness, it seems likely that a whole suite of interlinked moral behaviors have coevolved in social mammals. This essay explores the concept of empathy, reviews the scientific evidence for empathy in several species of social mammals, and suggests why empathy is adaptive. The paper concludeswith a discussion of what, if anything, the discovery of empathy in other animals suggests for how we treat them and how we think about our own morality.
145. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Anthony Lioi “The Art of Poetry” (poem)
146. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Jami Weinstein Humans, Animals, Machines
147. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Jacob Metcalf Intimacy without Proximity: Encountering Grizzlies as a Companion Species
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Using grizzly-human encounters as a case study, this paper argues for a rethinking of the differences between humans and animals within environmental ethics. A diffractive approach that understands such differences as an effect of specific material and discursive arrangements (rather than as pre-settled and oppositional) would see ethics as an interrogation of which arrangements enable flourishing, or living and dying well. The paper draws on a wide variety of human-grizzly encounters in order to describe the species as co-constitutive and challenges perspectives that treat bears and other animals as oppositional and nonagential outsides to humans.
148. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Judith Roche “Salmon Suite” (poems)
149. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Deborah Bird Rose Judas Work: Four Modes of Sorrow
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In this essay I examine four modes of thinking about the betrayals involved in the planned mass deaths of animals, specifically the wild donkeys of North Australia. I consider the wild, but in contrast to the positive valence this concept has acquired in environmental literature, I work with a set of negative connotations that I encountered in conversations with Aboriginal people in North Australia. I explore the wild as a form of narcissism, to use Hatley’s terminology, and I engage with animal mass deaths as an outcome of processes of disconnection and catastrophe. My analysis examines how the colonising wild is the tearing apart of the fabric of life and death on earth.
150. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Christian Diehm Staying True to Trees: A Specific Look at Anthropocentrism and Non-Anthropocentrism
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This essay examines how becoming familiar with trees in their specificity might impact how we position ourselves in the ongoing debate among environmental philosophers regarding anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric approaches to environmental ethics. It begins with an analysis of what the process of learning to identify trees entails, and a discussion of how this often involves the development of non-instrumentalist evaluative attitudes towards them, an axiological orientation at odds with the instrumental reductivism characteristic of anthropocentric views. It is then argued that a basic concern we might have with anthropocentrism is that it does not admit what are perhaps the most significant values that emerge in relationship with other-than-human entities.
151. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Glen Mazis The World of Wolves: Lessons about the Sacredness of the Surround, Belonging, the Silent Dialogue of Interdependence and Death, and Speciocide
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This essay details wolves sense of their surround in terms of how wolves perceptual acuities, motor abilities, daily habits, overriding concerns, network of intimate social bonds, and relationship to prey give them a unique sense of space, time, belonging with other wolves, memorial sense, imaginative capacities, dominant emotions (of affection, play, loyalty, hunger, etc.), communicative avenues, partnership with other creatures, and key role in ecological thriving. Wolves are seen to live within a vast sense of aroundness and closeness to aspects of their surround (compared to humans), a highly charged intimacy and cooperation with other wolves, and a caring and non-aggressive attitude that goes beyond the pack, despite their loyalty and defense of territory. The cultural myths and history that absurdly demonize the wolf are explored in their self-righteous attempts to exterminate wolves, which I call “speciocide” and probe for projections of human viciousness. The supposed rapaciousness of wolves is re-examined by expanding Barry Lopez’s sense of the silent dialogue of death with other creatures to be reconsidered as a kind of respect, assertion of vitality, recognition of mortality, and cooperation.
152. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Lisa Kemmerer “No One Likes” (poem)
153. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Keith Peterson The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?
154. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Timothy M. Costelloe Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida
155. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Kirsten Jacobson Sprawling Places
156. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Notes on Contributors
157. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Laura Geuy Akers Lessons Learned from Yellowjackets
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Interactions with yellowjackets offer opportunities to reflect on what it is to encounter radical alterity and the conditions that are necessary for the limited empathy such encounters afford us. Effort must be made to set aside automatic judgments, and neither simulation nor theorizing can be sufficient to give us reliable insights, but mindful attentiveness can at least help us attend to the possibilities of interaction and tentative interpretation.
158. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Robert Chapman Character and Environment: A Virtue-Oriented Approach to Environmental Ethics
159. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Scott Samuelson The Veil of Isis: An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature
160. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Janet Fiskio A World of Difference: The Lure of Plants in Gary Paul Nabhan
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Recent efforts among environmental theorists to think past human alienation from nature have made the question of the animal central, as Agamben and Derrida have shown. Expanding this question beyond the concern with suffering, Donna Haraway’s investigations of companion species take seriously the interspecies relations of work, play, and joy. The engagement of plant-human coevolution in the work of ethnobotanist Gary Paul Nabhan complicates these questions, revealing the porous boundaries between human cultures and the plant companions that sustain them. This essay proposes Nabhan’s work as a response to Haraway’s questions, exploring four mutually constitutive relations between humans and plants: lures, tricks, grief, and sacrament.