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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring 2018

Environmental Hermeneutics: In Memory of W. S. K. “Scott” Cameron

Steven Vogel
Pages 91-100

Doing without Nature
On Interpretation and Practice

Sorry that he is no longer here to read it, I consider in this paper Scott Cameron’s discussion of my views questioning the value of the concept of “nature” for environmental philosophy. Scott had suggested, based on arguments from hermeneutics, that although we never have access to a nature independent of our interpretations of it, still the existence of such a nature is necessarily presupposed by all such interpretations. I claim in response that if we replace the (idealist) notion of interpretation by the (materialist) one of practice, that presupposition is no longer necessary: the independence required is built into the notion of practice itself, and need not be seen as a characteristic of the world “outside” of us.

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