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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Wendy Farley
Pages 253-269

Truth, Beauty, and Climate Change
A Dialogue With Continental Philosophy about Living With Denial

This paper accesses continental philosophy to explore an analogy between the destruction caused by lack of resistance to National Socialism and the destruction caused by climate change denial. Husserl, Levinas, et alia identified a spirit of abstraction and ideology as elements of a catastrophic cultural crisis. Just as human beings were denuded of personhood, the natural world is denuded of inherent meaning. Social communication degenerates into anti-rational propaganda. Together these undermine response to climate change. Invigorating a genuine desire for truth and appreciation of the non-utilitarian good of beauty may provide some resource for undoing denial.

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