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Environmental Ethics

Volume 16, Issue 2, Summer 1994

Deane Curtin
Pages 195-213
DOI: 10.5840/enviroethics199416233

Dōgen, Deep Ecology, and the Ecological Self

A core project for deep ecologists is the reformulation of the concept of self. In searching for a more inclusive understanding of self, deep ecologists often look to Buddhist philosophy, and to the Japanese Buddhist philosopher Dōgen in particular, for inspiration. I argue that, while Dōgen does share a nondualist, nonanthropocentric framework with deep ecology, his phenomenology of the self is fundamentally at odds with the expanded Self found in the deep ecology literature. I suggest, though I do not fully argue for it, that Dōgen’s account of the self is more sympathetic to one version of ecofeminism than to deep ecology.

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