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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.