Environmental Ethics

Volume 22, Issue 4, Winter 2000

Simon P. James
Pages 359-375

“Thing-Centered” Holism in Buddhism, Heidegger, and Deep Ecology

I address the problem of reconciling environmental holism with the intrinsic value of individual beings. Drawing upon Madhyamaka (“middle way”) Buddhism, the later philosophy of Martin Heidegger, and deep ecology, I present a distinctly holistic conception of nature that, nevertheless, retains a commitment to the intrinsic worth of individual beings. I conclude with an examination of the practical implications of this “thing-centered holism” for environmental ethics.