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articles
1. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Byron Williston The Sublime Anthropocene
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In the Anthropocene, humanity has been forced to a self-critical reflection on its place in the natural order. A neglected tool for understanding this is the sublime. Sublime experience opens us up to encounters with ‘formless’ nature at the same time as we recognize the inevitability of imprinting our purposes on nature. In other words, it is constituted by just the sort of self-critical stance towards our place in nature that I identify as the hallmark of the Anthropocene ‘collision’ between human and earth histories.
2. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
David Maggs, John Robinson Recalibrating the Anthropocene: Sustainability in an Imaginary World
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Geologically speaking, the Anthropocene marks the end of the Holocene period, a time of great planetary stability. Conceptually speaking, the Anthropocene marks the end of the Modernist period, a time of great epistemic stability. As scientific framings of sustainability strain under anthro­pocenic realities, reconceptualizing sustainability may be necessary. By positioning human/nature relations beyond Modernist dichotomies under­pinning scientific discourse, the implications of the Anthropocene shift from methodological to ontological, dislodging sustainability from its traditional scientific foundations. To this, we propose new stability through four interlinked approaches to sustainability’s complex challenges, offering a framework for thought and action beyond Modernist framings of sustainability and opening essential roles to often-marginalized interpretive social sciences and humanities.
3. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Vincent Blok Biomimicry and the Materiality of Ecological Technology and Innovation: Toward a Natural Model of Nature
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In this paper, we reflect on the concept of nature that is presupposed in biomimetic approaches to technology and innovation. Because current practices of biomimicry presuppose a technological model of nature, it is questionable whether its claim of being a more ecosystem friendly approach to technology and innovation is justified. In order to maintain the potentiality of biomimicry as ecological innovation, we explore an alternative to this technological model of nature. To this end, we reflect on the materiality of natural systems and explore a natural model of nature, which is found in the responsive conativity of matter. This natural model of nature enables us to conceptualize biomimicry as conative responsiveness to the conativity of the biosphere.
4. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Beever, Nicolae Morar Bioethics and the Challenge of the Ecological Individual
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Questions of individuality are traditionally predicated upon recognizing discrete entities whose behavior can be measured and whose value and agency can be meaningfully ascribed. We consider a series of challenges to the metaphysical concept of individuality as the ground of the self. We argue that an ecological conception of individuality renders ascriptions of autonomy to selves highly improbable. We find conceptual resources in the work of environmental philosopher Arne Naess, whose distinction between shallow and deep responses helps us rethink the notion of individuality and, thus, assess whether the conceptual and normative coherence of human autonomy could, at least partially, be salvaged.
5. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Nathan Kowalsky Towards an Ethic of Animal Difference
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Extending ethical considerability to animals consistently takes the form of imperialism: progressing outward from the core of human morality, it incorporates only those animals deemed relevantly similar to humans while rejecting or reforming those lifeforms which are not. I develop an ethic of animal treatment premised on the species difference of undomesticated animals, which has the potential to reunite not only animal and environmental ethics, but environmental and interhuman ethics: each species has evolutionarily specified patterns of behavior for the proper treatment of members of its own species and members of other species.
6. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Brendan Mahoney The Virtue of Burden and Limits of Gelassenheit: The Complex Case for Heideggerian Environmental Ethics
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Since the 1980s, numerous scholars have applied the thought of Heidegger to environmental ethics—in particular, his critique of modern technology and his concept of ‘releasement.’ In this paper, I argue that these are an insufficient foundation for environmental ethics because they overlook a violence and destructiveness that is inextricable from our finite existence. Despite this critique, I claim that Heidegger’s analyses of violence in the 1930s and guilt in Being and Time can address some of these insufficiencies. To further develop the ethical potential of his philosophy, I bring it into dialogue with environmental virtue ethics.
book reviews
7. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Murray Code Arran Gare. The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilization: A Manifesto for the Future
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8. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Derrick Harris Timothy Morton. Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence
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9. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Abigail Levin Alice Crary. Inside Ethics
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10. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Parker Schill Byron Williston. The Anthropocene Project: Virtue in the Age of Climate Change
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11. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Allen Thompson Steven Vogel. Thinking Like a Mall: Environmental Philosophy After the End of Nature
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12. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Morten Tønnessen Arne Johan Vetlesen. The Denial of Nature: Environmental Philosophy in the Era of Global Capitalism
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13. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Call for Papers: Special Issue of Environmental Philosophy in memory of W. S. K. “Scott” Cameron
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articles
14. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Donald S. Maier Taking Nature Seriously in the Anthropocene
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Nature conservation in the Anthropocene predominantly supposes that human-caused changes have worsened nature’s condition, which warrants undertaking conservation projects that actively manage or manipulate nature to improve it in quality or quantity. This essay surveys, by category, reasons and arguments for pursuing these projects. It finds key reasons to be normatively unimportant and key arguments incomplete or invalid. Conservation on this basis does not take nature seriously because it acts “for no good reason.” Finally, by attending to underlying sources of this general failure, the essay suggests how a different view of the value of nature and its conservation may achieve a sounder footing.
15. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Kenneth Liberman The Reversibilty of Landscapes
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Environmental philosophy has been burdened with perspectives that have failed to afford access to the actual experience of living in a landscape, and dualist and nondualist inquiries alike are plagued by anthropocentrisms that seem impossible to escape. This contribution explores how we can investigate the relation of humans and landscapes in ways that preserve what occurs there, and begin to open such experience to rigorous scrutiny. To this end, resources are drawn and synthesized from the thinking of Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Georg Simmel, Heidegger, and the author’s anthropological field research about nature, scientific praxis, human identity, and anonymity.
16. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Robert Booth Acknowledging the Place of Unrest: Tensions between Radical Reflection and the Flesh
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In recent years many eco-phenomenological philosophers have argued that a more positive analysis of one’s relationship with more-than-human nature can be achieved through taking up Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the flesh. Taking such an ontology seriously seems to facilitate even the possibility of our being able to express “what the world means to say.” I argue, however, that we should be cautious about both taking up such an ontology and making such ontological claims because in doing so we fail to take sufficiently seriously the impact of sedimentation in both perception and reflection and thus violate the remit of radical reflection that is essential to Merleau-Ponty’s characterization of philosophy.
17. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Sol Neely On Becoming Human in Lingít Aaní: Encountering Levinas through Indigenous Inspirations
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Calls for taking up wisdom in its place risk re-inscribing coloniality at the level of signification if attempts to resituate intelligibility in the specificity of place are not enacted through a careful translation of experience between victims and perpetrators of colonial violence. At some level, decolonization ought to be conceived as a kind of translation. Emmanuel Levinas’ project to “translate” Judaism into Greek is one way of staging such decolonial translation by providing us an internal critique of coloniality while remaining receptive to indigenous inspirations that enrich eco-phenomenological ways of encountering place. In the final instance, however, this paper calls for encountering place through the indigenous languages that make place ethically legible.
18. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
James Hatley Telling Stories in the Company of Buffalo: Wisdom, Fluency, and Rough Knowledge
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Beginning in story and memoir, an appeal is made for the practice of “paranoiesis,” a mode of knowing appropriate to dwelling in the company of other living kinds. Paranoiesis is particularly called for in responding to the twin legacies of ecocide and genocide at work in the extirpation of Buffalo across the high plains. Philosophical responses to this plight are called upon to cultivate “rough knowledge,” a mode of hearing the other’s speaking—both human and more-than-human—that eschews dialectical opposition and negative critique for the sake of dialogical fluency and torsion.
19. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Arnold Berleant Some Questions for Ecological Aesthetics
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Ecology has become a popular conceptual model in numerous fields of inquiry and it seems especially appropriate for environmental philosophy. Apart from its literal employment in biology, ecology has served as a useful metaphor that captures the interdependence of factors in a field of research. At the same time as ecology is suggestive, it cannot be followed literally or blindly. This paper considers the appropriateness of the uses to which ecology has been put in some recent discussions of architectural and environmental aesthetics, and develops a critique of the differing ecological aesthetics of Jusuck Koh and Xiangzhan Cheng.
book reviews
20. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Lisa Brooks David L. Moore. That Dream Shall Have a Name: Native Americans Rewriting America
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