Analyzes the relationship between humanity and the natural world from the point of view of philosophy and examines the dehumanization of nature in Western civilization The quest of this volume is one of recalling what we have thus hidden ...
What is the epistemological status of a world within which speaking to trees would appear as an appropriate behavior? It would be a world perceived as a community of autonomous beings worthy of respect. Such a world contrasts with the anthropocentric conception of the world as a value?free reservoir of raw materials, but neither worldview can or should claim descriptive accuracy. Both are equally ?manners of speaking? and the choice between them must rest on whether they are conducive to ecologically (...) constructive or ecologically destructive behavior. On that basis, speaking to trees is a legitimate, speaking of biomechanisms an illegitimate form of verbal behavior. (shrink)
I draw on the resources of Husserlian phenomenology to argue that the way humans constitute nature as a meaningful whole by their purposive presence as hunter/gatherers (nature as mysterium tremendum), as herdsmen/farmers (nature as partner), and as producer/consumers (nature as resource) affects the way they respond to its distress—as to a resource failure, as a to flawed relationship, or asto a fate from which “only a god could save us.” I find all three responses wanting and look to a different (...) experience, that of nature as an endangered species, as the ground for a more adequate response of accepting responsibility for our freedom, with the consequence of imposing ethical limits on the way that humans relate to all being, not to humans alone. (shrink)
I draw on the resources of Husserlian phenomenology to argue that the way humans constitute nature as a meaningful whole by their purposive presence as hunter/gatherers, as herdsmen/farmers, and as producer/consumers affects the way they respond to its distress—as to a resource failure, as a to flawed relationship, or asto a fate from which “only a god could save us.” I find all three responses wanting and look to a different experience, that of nature as an endangered species, as the (...) ground for a more adequate response of accepting responsibility for our freedom, with the consequence of imposing ethical limits on the way that humans relate to all being, not to humans alone. (shrink)
THE PURPOSE of this paper is to sketch in a missing chapter in the near-history of Western philosophy, tracing the fortunes of one of Husserl's unfinished projects--that of securing an experiential foundation for transcendental philosophy in the "natural" world of our lives--at the hands of one of the most critical yet doggedly faithful students of his closing years, the Czech philosopher Jan Patocka.
The idea of the book is brilliant in its simplicity: to superimpose Husserl's several introductions to phenomenology and so to construct a composite image of what Husserl assumed about his enterprise--though he may not have articulated it adequately in any one of his introductions. The author should not be faulted that, like others before him, he actually ends up following the introduction from the Ideen cycle, with references to those in Cartesian Meditations and Crisis. The introduction in Ideen I is (...) clearly central and most systematic. If he is to be faulted at all, it would be because, like others before him, he focuses on the introduction in the Ideen cycle but largely ignores the crucial second volume, Phänomenologische Studien zur Konstitution, though more of that anon. (shrink)
The names of the authors of the preface and the "postface" indicate the respect of the European philosophic community for the author of this volume. Outside that community, however, Jan Patocka was known more for his Socratic death at the hands of secret police interrogators than for his no less Socratic life and work. Except for three brief interludes, his works have been suppressed by the masters, first Nazi, then Soviet, of his native Czechoslovakia. In great part, they circulated privately, (...) in typescript, in the Czech originals. It is most welcome that they are at last becoming available in print and in a language commonly understood by philosophers. (shrink)
This review is a belated acknowledgement of a book I have for some time appreciated as a valuable introduction to continental philosophy for students too advanced to need the usual "Introduction to....".
The purpose of this paper is not to theorize but to examine the primordial perceptions of “the rational” and “the irrational” on which our theoretical judgments are based. We do not question the importance of such judgments. But, unless they build on a clear experiential foundation—even if by inverting it—their results remain arbitrary. Whether we wish to deal with the real and the derivative, the true and the false, the good and the evil, or, as in our case, the rational (...) and the irrational, we need to begin with a clear apperception of the eidos each term articulates as lived experience. (shrink)