Philosophy ETDs

Author

Tara Kennedy

Publication Date

7-12-2014

Abstract

Martin Heidegger came to see the history of Western metaphysics as a series of ontotheological epochs. These epochs, he argues, culminate in the age informed by the metaphysics of Friedrich Nietzsche. According to this ontotheological paradigm, entities are nothing more than meaningless resources to be optimized. This paper argues that this is the source of the environmental crises we face. In order to see our way through and beyond this nihilistic ontotheological age, we must recognize the ontological source of all existence, that which Heidegger called being as such. The philosophical tradition of phenomenology offers us an ideal method for cultivating an openness to and an appreciation of the existence of any particular entity as an instantiation of the inexhaustibly meaningful being as such. By being appropriately open, we come to have a more authentic relationship to the world and the entities within it, including ourselves. Since any ethics is built upon ontology, reorienting our ontological perspectives in this way makes possible the development of an environmental ethic that can help us resolve the ethical dilemmas we face on the environmental front.

Degree Name

Philosophy

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

Philosophy

First Advisor

Thomson, Iain

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gerber, Lisa

Second Committee Member

Kalar, Brent

Third Committee Member

Murphy, Ann

Fourth Committee Member

Putnam, Walter

Language

English

Keywords

Environmental Ethics, Technology, Eco-Phenomenology, Heidegger

Document Type

Dissertation

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