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41. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Bryan E. Bannon Resisting the Domination of Nature: Regarding Time as an Ethical Concept
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This essay uses Foucault’s views on time and ethics in order to reconceptualize the domination of nature in terms of the imposition of an inflexible order upon a place rather than in the more conventional sense in environmental studies of reducing nature to a use object for humanity. I then propose a means of resisting that domination by examining how friendship might be employed as an ethical ideal in our relationship to nature.
42. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Andrew Tyler Johnson Is Organic Life “Existential”?: Reflections on the Biophenomenologies of Hans Jonas and Early Heidegger
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In this paper I outline Hans Jonas’s thesis of the “existential” character of biological life and compare it with statements made by the early Heidegger concerning the essential enworldedness of all living beings. I then critically examine this thesis in the light of Heidegger’s own later refutation of his views and consequent reversal of his former position on life. I argue that while both thinkers are correct to attribute a radical openness to organic life as such, Heidegger is correct is restricting the existential dimension to specifically human life given certain logical constraints built into the concept of existence itself.
43. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Henry Dicks Aldo Leopold and the Ecological Imaginary: The Balance, the Pyramid, and the Round River
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Aldo Leopold accorded great significance to the images he used to describe both the land and humankind’s relation to it. Focusing on three key images of Leopold’s “ecological imaginary”—the balance, the pyramid, and the round river—this article argues that the most profound of these is the round river. Contrasting this image with James Lovelock’s portrayal of the earth as Gaia, it further argues that Leopold’s round river can be interpreted as a contemporary, ecological reworking of the primordial, Homeric experience of Being, according to which the foundation of the world is a round river, Oceanus.
44. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Donald S. Maier, Jeffrey A. Lockwood Conservation as Picking up Trash in Nature
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This essay explores a previously unexplored suggestion for combining consideration of aesthetics with considerations of vice and virtue to justify, not merely claims about nature’s beauty or its preservation, but landscape-transforming conservation projects. Its discussion is not univocal. On the one hand, it suggests that vices associated with humans assisting a creature’s journey to a new landscape make that organism’s presence on that landscape ugly. According to this suggestion, the creature may be regarded as trash, which would be virtuous to remove. On the other hand, it worries that the argument ultimately traces this circle: It is wrong to fail to remove the creature because this failure would be blameworthy; and failure to remove would be blameworthy because wrong.
45. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Beever An Ecological Turn in American Indian Environmental Ethics
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In this paper I argue that, instead of standing as an exemplar of contemporary environmentalism, North American Indian voices on the environment offer insights concerning ecological relationships that can be brought to bear on theories of environmental value and the politics of environmentalism. I argue that environmentally orthodox representations of Native views are further complicated by the metaphysics of local ecological knowledge. I then argue that moral ecologism, a normative view focused on inter­dependence throughout the living world and evidenced by contemporary American Indian voices, can help align traditional environmentalism with the contemporary scientific understanding of ecological relationships.
46. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Abigail Levin Zoo Animals as Specimens, Zoo Animals as Friends: The Life and Death of Marius the Giraffe
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The international protest surrounding the Copenhagen Zoo’s recent decision to kill a healthy giraffe in the name of population management reveals a deep moral tension between contemporary zoological display practices—which induce zoo-goers to view certain animals as individuals, quasi-persons, or friends—and the traditional objectives of zoos, which ask us only to view animals as specimens. I argue that these zoological display practices give rise to moral obligations on the part of zoos to their visitors, and thus ground indirect duties on behalf of zoos to their animals. I conclude that zoos might take on interspecies friendship as a new zoological objective.
47. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Roger Paden Nature, Disorder, and Tragedy: Towards an Evolutionary Aesthetic
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This paper outlines a normative/philosophical theory of evolutionary aesthetics, one that differs substantially from existing explanatory/psychological theories, such as Dutton’s. This evolutionary theory is based on Carlson’s scientific cognitivism, but differs in that it is based on evolutionary rather than ecological theory. After offering a short account of Carlson’s theory, I distinguish it from a normative evolutionary aesthetics. I then explore an historically important normative/philosophical theory of the aesthetics of nature that is consistent with Darwin’s theory of natural selection; namely, the theory of the picturesque. Finally, after summarizing Nietzsche’s early theory of tragedy, I discuss how some of his ideas might be incorporated into an evolutionary aesthetics.
48. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Michael Marder The Sense of Seeds, or Seminal Events
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In this text, I suggest that we approach the theme of “the event” through vegetal processes, concepts, and metaphors. Mediated through plant life, the event unfolds along three axes: 1) that of excrescence, or the out-growth, which is how plants appear in the world; 2) that of expectation, or the out-look, waiting for germination and ultimately for fruition; and 3) that of the exception, or the out-take, which extracts the seed from the closed circuit of potentiality and actuality, committing it to chance. The nascent model I propose sheds light on our animalist prejudices hidden in ostensibly abstract thought and offers a fresh starting point for postmetaphysical ontology.
49. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Susan NoorMohammadi The Role of Poetic Image in Gaston Bachelard’s Contribution to Architecture: The Enquiry into an Educational Approach in Architecture
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This paper addresses Gaston Bachelard’s phenomenology of imagination. In his book The Poetics of Space, Bachelard stresses two major elements that are significant in the creation of real images: imagination and memory. Throughout The Poetics of Space, he speaks explicitly of houses of memory and dreams and homes of childhood. However Bachelard does not speak directly of architecture, his contribution to architecture needs to be analyzed and interpreted precisely. This objective is accomplished by arguing for two basic concepts in Bachelard’s thought: the development of the concept of meaning, and recourse to the function of inhabiting. Further, the knowledge gaps in the link between inhabitation and architecture are addressed through a proposal to implicate the phenomenology of imagination in architectural education.
50. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Patrícia Vieira Phytographia: Literature as Plant Writing
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This article develops the notion of plant writing or phytographia, the roots of which go back to the early modern concept of signatura rerum, as well as, more recently, to Walter Benjamin’s idea of a “language of things” and to Jacques Derrida’s arche-writing. Phytographia designates the encounter between the plants’ inscription in the world and the traces of that imprint left in literary works, mediated by the artistic perspective of the author. The final section of the essay turns to the so-called “jungle novel,” set in the Amazonian rainforest, as an instantiation of phytographia.