Landscapes devoid of meaning? A reply to Nicole Note

Environmental Values 23 (1):17-23 (2014)

Authors
Martin Drenthen
Radboud University Nijmegen
Abstract
Even though artists and philosophers sometimes succeed in finding words for the meaning that places can have for us, we can never fully identify the meaning that places have for us. Nicole Note is right in arguing (using the work of Arnold Burms) that the ineffable plays a key role in the meaningful relations we have with the world, and that the experience of meaning can only emerge if there is a real risk that it fails to appear. Therefore, meaning cannot be ‘produced’. I have argued, however, that we can be confronted with a far more radical loss of meaning when most at first meaningful interpretations of place turn out to be consciously produced by marketeers and lobbyists. Yet, even this very feeling of estrangement can lead us to a sensitivity for the otherness of nature as a transcendental source of meaning.
Keywords Environmental philosophy  Environmental ethics  Hermeneutics  Meaning of nature
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DOI 10.3197/096327113X13528328798156
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Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
Fatal Attraction: Wildness in Contemporary Film.Martin Drenthen - 2009 - Environmental Ethics 31 (3):297-315.

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