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1. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Robert Chapman Crowded Solitude: Thoreau on Wildness
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Wilderness and wildness are not related isomorphically. Wildness is the broader category; all instances of wilderness express wildness while all instances of wildness do not express wilderness. There is more than a logical distinction between wildness and wilderness, and what begins as an analytic distinction ends as an ontological one. A more rhetorical representation of this confusion is captured by the notion of synecdoche, where, in this case, wilderness the narrower term is used for wildness the more expansive term. Although this might seem obvious at first glance, I contend that the two concepts are often misused taken as synonyms thus equivocally, setting back the cause of conceptual clarity in environmental philosophy in general, and environmental restoration in particular. One notable outcome has been the unfortunate dichotomy between preservation and conservation resulting in policy choices that needlessly deny integrated alternatives by illicit exclusion. This paper will clarify this confusion by demonstrating instances where the two concepts have been systematically abused—conflated—and show how Henry David Thoreau saw them as importantly separable. Finally, a clearer understanding of the distinctions between the two concepts provides the basis for a viable program of restoration based on an ethics of place.
2. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Ingrid Leman Stefanovic, Kenneth Maly EDITORIAL PREFACE: Environmental Philosophy
3. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Bruce Martin Wilderness and the Sacred: The Meeting of Spirit and Nature in Human Experience
4. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
W. S. K. Cameron Heidegger’s Concept of the Environment in Being and Time
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Heidegger’s characterization of Dasein as Being-in-the-world suggests a natural relation to environmental philosophy. Among environmentalists, however, closer inspection must raise alarm, both since Heidegger’s approach is in some senses inescapably anthropocentric and since Dasein discovers its environment through its usability, serviceability, and accessibility. Yet Heidegger does not simply adopt a traditionally modern, instrumental view. The conditions under which the environment appears imply neither that the environment consists only of tools, nor that what is true of the parts is also true of the whole, nor that an orientation to use—where appropriate—precludes any other orientation. Heidegger’s anthropocentric commitments thus do not rule out the possibility of a non-instrumental perspective on the natural world.
5. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Kenneth Maly The Role of “Philosophy” in “Environmental Studies” or Why “Environmental Studies” Needs “Philosophy”
6. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Bruce Foltz Shook Foil and Trodden Sod: Nature, Beauty and the Holy
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The beauty of nature has been neglected both in the history of aesthetics as well in environmental philosophy. Considering four philosophers of the last two centuries (Nietzsche and Heidegger in Germany, and Soloviev and Florensky in Russia) this paper outlines an understanding of the beauty of nature that is ontological rather than subjectivistic, and that terminates in a view of nature’s beauty as rooted in the phenomenon of the holy. This understanding, in turn, allows us to include certain important, but neglected issues within environmental philosophy, in addition to providing a unifying principle for environmentalphilosophy as a whole.
7. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
David Seamon Revealing Environmental and Place Wholes: Lessons from Christopher Alexander’s Theory of Wholeness & Bill Hillier’s Space Syntax
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This article examines the conception of the everyday city as presented in the work of architect Christopher Alexander and architectural theorist Bill Hillier. Both thinkers suggest that, in the past, lively urban places arose unself-consciously through the routine daily behaviors of many individual users coming together in supportive space and place. In different ways, both thinkers ask whether, today, a similar sort of vital urban district can be made to happen self-consciouslythrough explicit understanding transformed into design and policy principles. The aim for both Alexander and Hillier is place-based urban communities marked by lively streets, serendipitous public encounters, and informal sociability. The article begins by examining commonalities and differences in Alexander and Hillier’s conception of environmental wholeness and urban place. Next, the article considers implications for urban design and, finally, indicates the considerable value that the two thinkers’ ideas offer environmental philosophy, particularly for understanding environmental wholes.
8. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Mary Edwards The Place of Silence
9. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Robert Frodeman Environmental Philosophy and the Shaping of Public Policy
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The standard approach to environmental issues today is to turn to science, economics, or democratic populism as a means to resolve our environmental debates. Environmental philosophers, on the other hand, focus on the theoretical underpinnings of environmental issues, with possibly a brief reference to a specific case or example. A policy turn in environmental philosophy involves a third way, where philosophers begin from society’s own growing sense of the inadequacy of our conventional ways of addressing environmental problems.
10. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Glen A. Mazis Deep Ecology, the Reversibility of the Flesh of the World, and the Poetic Word: A Response to Arne Naess
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This essay seeks to supplement Arnie Naess’s avowed project of replacing the often cited model of “humans and environment,” which retains a dualistic and anthropocentric connotation, with the articulation of a “relational total-field image” of human being’s insertion in the planetary field of energy and becoming. In response to the interview “Here I Stand” in which Naess rejects Merleau-Ponty’s ontology, this essay details the ways in which Merleau-Ponty provides the kind of ontology that Naess requires for his deep ecology. Naess’s use of Hindu terms and metaphysics is shown to be at odds with his descriptions of human’s relations with the world. Much of the essay critiques as well Naess’s rejection of poetic language as inadequate to the philosophical task of articulating the human-world intertwining. Using Merleau-Ponty’s work, the need for the poetic as uniquely articulating “the flesh of the world” and “reversibility” is described, hopefully showing that deep ecology’s goal of making people feel their insertion in the world’s field of becoming can only occur through inaugurating poetic uses of language.
11. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Christian Diehm “Here I Stand”: An Interview With Arne Naess
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The following interview was conducted by Christian Diehm in the home of Arne Naess near Oslo, Norway, in December of 2001. At eighty-nine years of age, Naess was preparing for the English-language release of his latest book, Life’s Philosophy. We are pleased to provide a transcript of a large part of the conversations that spanned two afternoon dialogues.
12. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Robin Bellows Courtyards: A Phenomenological Study
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This essay is an edited version of a paper submitted for a third year, undergraduate course in Issues in Environmental Ethics, at the University of Toronto. The course aims to bring together thinking from the intersection of the fields of Continental and Environmental Philosophy.
13. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Dennis Skocz The Narrow Road to The Deep North: Earth and World in Poetry and Prose
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The paper offers a reading of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” and related writings by the famous Japanese haiku poet of the 17 century, Basho. Employing the Heideggerian distinction between earth and world, the interpretation of Basho suggests that prose narrative, represented by Basho’s travelogue or account of his journey by foot through Japan, inserts nature (earth) within the scope of everyday human concerns (world). The reading suggests that it is in the poetic interludes, the haiku pieces that interrupt the story of the trip with pristine word images of a natural object or scene, that nature unfolds on its own terms, i.e. as a world unto itself.
14. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Christian Diehm Deep Ecology and Phenomenology
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This essay is written as a companion to the interview “Here I Stand,” and it examines the place of phenomenology in the environmental thought of deep ecologist Arne Naess. Tracing a line through Naess’s somewhat sporadic references to phenomenology, and his comments in the interview, the article argues that Naess’s interest in phenomenology is tied to his attempts to develop an ontology, and tries to show how this project situates Naess in relation to several phenomenologists. The essay concludes with some reflections on Naess’s general criticism of phenomenology, and claims that despite his reservations, he may still be quite close to the spirit of phenomenological thinking.
15. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Carol Bigwood Standing and Stooping to Tiny Flowers: An Ecofemnomenological Response to Arne Naess
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Throughout the paper, I intersperse intimate movement episodes where I respond through my body and personal self to Naess. In grounding his own ecosophy, Naess makes his stand on a very certain place high up in the mountains called “Tvergastein.” His ecosophy T springs directly from his personalhome. Engaging with his texts I find I am not merely immersed in the usual way into a symbolic realm of ideas detached from my body, but have the odd feeling that I must tilt my head to one side and slightly back so I can listen from where he speaks up there on that mountain. Thinking on an incline like this, I become aware that I am listening from down here. But from where down here? From where do I respond? Where is my home? Reading Naess in his place compels me to place my own response more particularly, more intimately.
16. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Eric Sean Nelson Responding to Heaven and Earth: Daoism, Heidegger, and Ecology
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Although the words “nature” and “ecology” have to be qualified in discussing either Daoism or Heidegger, the author argues that a different and potentially helpful approach to questions of nature, ecology, and environmental ethics can be articulated from the works of Martin Heidegger and the early Daoist philosophers Laozi (Lao-Tzu) and Zhuangzi (Chuang-Tzu). Despite very different cultural contexts and philosophical strategies, they bring into play the spontaneity and event-character of nature while unfolding a sense of how to be responsive to the world through a practice of “non-coercive-activity” (wuwei) and “letting be” (Gelassenheit). Significant ecological implications can be drawn from the recognition of nature reinterpreted as dao (way) and as Sein (being). The openness and receptiveness of experiencing the world as being-under-way suggests what might be called a “pluralistic holism,” involving the recognition of both the interconnectedness and the unique singularity of things, and the possibility of being responsive to the phenomena themselves in their mutuality as wellas in their particular givenness.
17. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Ingrid Leman Stefanovic, Kenneth Maly EDITORIAL PREFACE
18. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Graham Parkes Zhuangzi and Nietzsche on the Human and Nature
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In the context of an unprecedented level of human harm to the natural world on a global scale, this essay aims to rehabilitate the category of the natural by drawing on the philosophies of the classical Daoist Zhuangzi and Friedrich Nietzsche. It considers the benefits of their undermining of anthropocentrism, their appreciation of natural limitations, their checking of human projections onto nature, and their recommendations concerning following the ways of nature while at the same time promoting human culture. The essay concludes with a few examples of how these ideas apply to some current environmental issues.
19. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Meilin Chinn Sensing the Wind: The Timely Music of Nature’s Memory
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According to the Zhuangzi, listening to the music of nature draws the self into the silence required to experience things in their self-arising spontaneity. How does this happen? This essay answers by way of the Yue Ji (Record of Music), where it is said that great music embodies the timeliness of nature. Using both texts, I develop timeliness as the opportune moment, temporal natality, and nature’s memory. Listening to the timely music of nature is shown to be an act of ecological perception that, by releasing time in favor of timeliness, reveals our aesthetic accordance with nature’s own becoming.
20. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Lucy Schultz Creative Climate: Expressive Media in the Aesthetics of Watsuji, Nishida, and Merleau-Ponty
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In different ways, Watsuji, Nishida, and Merleau-Ponty describe a self that extends beyond the skin through a sort of dialectic of internal/external space of perception and action, which has implications for understanding the relationship between art and nature in artistic creation. Through an exposition of Watsuji’s conception of human being in relation to a climatic milieu, Nishida’s theory of the expressive body as the site of the world’s own self-transformations, and certain claims made by Merleau-Ponty in his essays on painting, this article provides a way of understanding how material media may become expressive when they are taken up by artists.