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date: 19 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The historically rich and diverse tradition of phenomenology has contributed broadly to the emergence of environmental thought across the humanities and social sciences and is increasingly influential on environmental ethics and philosophy. Emphasizing the primacy of experience and inquiry into the epistemological and ontological assumptions that inform the historical and contemporary relationship with nature, phenomenology takes a critical distance from metaphysical naturalism and the instrumental framing of environmental problems in resourcist, technological, economic, and managerial terms. The tradition’s distinctive contributions to environmental ethics include its focus on the epistemic and ontological revindication of experience, its critique of metaphysical and modernist assumptions, and its aim to articulate a post-metaphysical conception of the self-world relation and an alternative ethos appropriate to our experience of nature. Key concepts that inform current phenomenological research in environmental ethics include the lifeworld, the earth and elements, the chiasm, and poetic dwelling.

Keywords: ecophenomenology, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, lifeworld, earth, elements, chiasm, dwelling

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