Environmental Philosophy

Volume 20, Issue 1, Spring 2023

Olli Pitkänen
Pages 73-94

Environmental Philosophy, Esotericism, and Disenchantment
A Comment on Sean McGrath’s Ecophilosophy

Sean McGrath has produced an interesting interpretation of Renaissance Hermeticism in the context of environmental philosophy. By recovering this esoteric current he combines deep ecological criticism of anthropocentrism with humanistic critique of one-sidedly ecocentric views. After summarizing McGrath’s position and arguing for its profound potential, I will point out a problem in McGrath’s use of one of his key conceptions: disenchantment. Countering McGrath, I argue that the conception of disenchantment is not suitable for distinguishing overly ideological or superficial forms of esotericism from those with actual philosophical and political potential.