Reconnecting with Nature in the Age of Technology: The Heidegger and Radical Environmentalism Debate Revisited

Environmental Philosophy 11 (2):307-332 (2014)
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Abstract

The relation between Martin Heidegger and radical environmentalism has been subject of discussion for several years now. On the one hand, Heidegger is portrayed as a forerunner of the deep ecology movement, providing an alternative for the technological age we live in. On the other, commentators contend that the basic thrust of Heidegger’s thought cannot be found in such an ecological ethos. In this article, this debate is revisited in order to answer the question whether it is possible to conceive human dwelling on earth in a way which is consistent with the technological world we live in and heralds another beginning at the same time. Our point of departure in this article is not the work of Heidegger but the affordance theory of James Gibson, which will prove to be highly compatible with the radical environmentalist concept of nature as well as Heidegger’s concept of the challenging of nature.

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Vincent Blok
Wageningen University and Research

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