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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring 2012

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Displaying: 1-10 of 12 documents


1. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Jacob Metcalf, Thom van Dooren Editorial Preface
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The collection of essays in this special issue of Environmental Philosophy addresses the role that temporality, or lived time, should have in environmental philosophy, and especially ethics. The role of time in environmental ethics has largely been restricted to an empty container for human agency to do good or ill. By understanding time as material, produced, constructed, maintained, lived, multiple, and a more-than-human concern, the authors in this collection are able to ask which times are liveable for humans and non-humans alike. Once the specificities of lived time are accounted for, it becomes clear that not all temporalities are identical and synchronous, and that environmental philosophy must attend to the ruptures in ecological time.
features
2. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
James Hatley The Virtue of Temporal Discernment: Rethinking the Extent and Coherence of the Good in a Time of Mass Species Extinction
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How might human beings be called to exercise virtue, which is to say, modes of acknowledgement, humility, and discernment, in regard to the impending (no matter how distant chronologically) extinction of the human species? It is argued that the inevitable extinction of the human species be affirmed as a good, in spite of how daunting and uncanny this act might be. This affirmation is called for as humans struggle to find an ethical response appropriate to their creaturely existence, as well as to their devastating complicity in a historical and geological moment of mass species extinction.
3. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Michelle Bastian Fatally Confused: Telling the Time in the Midst of Ecological Crises
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Focusing particularly on the role of the clock in social life, this article explores the conventions we use to “tell the time.” I argue that although clock time generally appears to be an all-encompassing tool for social coordination, it is actually failing to coordinate us with some of the most pressing ecological changes currently taking place. Utilizing philosophical approaches to performativity to explore what might be going wrong, I then draw on Derrida’s and Haraway’s understandings of social change in order to suggest a fairly unconventional, but perhaps more accurate, mode of reckoning time in the context of climate change, resource depletion, and mass extinctions.
4. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Peter S. Alagona, John Sandlos, Yolanda F. Wiersma Past Imperfect: Using Historical Ecology and Baseline Data for Conservation and Restoration Projects in North America
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Conservation and restoration programs usually involve nostalgic claims about the past, along with calls to return to that past or recapture some aspect of it. Knowledge of history is essential for such programs, but the use of history is fraught with challenges. This essay examines the emergence, development, and use of the “ecological baseline” concept for three levels of biological organization. We argue that the baseline concept is problematic for establishing restoration targets. Yet historical knowledge—more broadly conceived to include both social and ecological processes—will remain essential for conservation and restoration.
5. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Astrid Schrader The Time of Slime: Anthropocentrism in Harmful Algal Research
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Drawing on scientific accounts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and their detection technologies, this paper asks what conceptions of time and species presences enable a mapping of the biological productivity of microorganisms onto economic productivity or the loss thereof and how certain modes of technoscientific detection of specific algae materialize such a conception of time, circumscribing what counts as harmfulness and to whom. Moving beyond the mere affirmation of the activity of nonhuman nature, I seek to demonstrate how an epistemological anthropocentrism in scientific knowledge production that opposes historically flexible and technologically enhanced human creativity to its atemporal object of study manifests itself as a political anthropocentrism that presupposes “our” time as the unalterable movement of Homo Economicus. Such a political conception of time is supported by a view of “life itself” as a teleological process toward ever increasing complexity, effacing the possibility of asking to whom the current ecological transformations matter.
6. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Robert Kirkman Transitory Places
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As a contribution to an experiential approach to environmental ethics, I seek to incorporate into the experience of place a sense of the passing of time across multiple scales. This may spur the recognition that places we are pleased to experience as stable backdrops for our projects may be transitory, in the short or long term, with important consequences for ethical deliberation. The occasion for this essay is a visit to the Karori Sanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand, the site of an ambitious restoration project set against the backdrop of ongoing biogeographic upheaval.
7. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Katherine Wright Pining for the Present: Ecological Remembrance and Healing in the Armidale State Forest
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The Armidale State Forest is a pine plantation at the edge of the Armidale city in New South Wales, Australia. In 2000 and 2007 large parts of the forest were destroyed in clear-felling operations. This sparked community outrage which led to the formation of advocacy groups who have begun to restore the forest despite its controversial position as a “conifer invader” in Eucalypt country. In this paper I focus on the way personal memories are embodied in the pine forms to challenge the native/invasive divide in Australian conservation discourse. I argue that the destruction of this devalued ecology caused a traumatic rupture to the Armidale communities’ connection to a forest which preserves their pasts. To heal this environmental and psychological damage, I propose a recuperative approach termed “ecological remembrance” that strives to repair severed connections between people and place.
8. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Deborah Bird Rose Multispecies Knots of Ethical Time
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Death narratives, nurturance, and transitive crossings within species and between species open pathways into entanglements of life of earth. This paper engages with time in both sequential and synchronous modes, investigating interfaces where time, species, and nourishment become densely knotted up in ethics of gift, motion, death, life, and desire. The further aim is to consider the dynamic ripples generated by anthropogenic mass death in multispecies knots of ethical time, and to gesture toward a practice of writing as witness.
book reviews
9. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Loren Cannon Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples
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10. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
David Utsler Beyond Romantic Ecocriticism: Toward Urbanatural Roosting
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