Volume 21, Issue 1, Fall 2016
To Open a Site (with Heidegger)
Toward a Phenomenology of Ecological Politics
Drawing on the texts of Martin Heidegger, at times interpreted against the grain, I tackle the relation between ecology and economy in our era of rampant economism. I begin by outlining the ecological and economic variations on ethics and politics, with the view to the logos and nomos of dwelling (oikos). Thereafter, I consider the rise of a worldless, homeless world from the undue emphasis placed on nomos, which is but the active (actively gathering) dimension of logos. This lopsidedness, I argue, coincides with and is reinforced by the deterioration of ontological rank to valuation and, ultimately, to numeric orderability. Further, I focus on the excesses of a purely economist comportment that, emboldened by the inflation of nomos, devastates “economy” itself from within by converting the elemental fold for dwelling first into a manageable territory and finally into an empire. I conclude with the thesis that things, sharply contrasted to objects, maintain the possibility of an ecological existence, recalling us to the lost dwelling.