Hermeneutics, Environments, and Justice

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Recent years have seen a growing interest in and the publication of more formal scholarship on philosophical hermeneutics and environmental philosophy--i.e. environmental hermeneutics. Grasping how a human understanding of environments is variously mediated and how different levels of meaning can be unconcealed permits deeper ways of looking at environmental ethics and human practices with regard to environments. Beyond supposed simple facts about environments to which humans supposedly rationally respond, environmental hermeneutics uncovers ways in which encounters with environments become meaningful. How we understand and, therefore, choose to act depends not so much on simple facts, but what those facts mean ... continued below

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Utsler, David August 2019.

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  • Utsler, David

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Recent years have seen a growing interest in and the publication of more formal scholarship on philosophical hermeneutics and environmental philosophy--i.e. environmental hermeneutics. Grasping how a human understanding of environments is variously mediated and how different levels of meaning can be unconcealed permits deeper ways of looking at environmental ethics and human practices with regard to environments. Beyond supposed simple facts about environments to which humans supposedly rationally respond, environmental hermeneutics uncovers ways in which encounters with environments become meaningful. How we understand and, therefore, choose to act depends not so much on simple facts, but what those facts mean to our lives. Therefore, this dissertation explores three paths. The first is to justify the idea of an environmental hermeneutics with the hermeneutic tradition itself and what environmental hermeneutics is specifically. The second is to demonstrate the benefit of addressing environmental hermeneutics to environmental philosophy. I do this in this dissertation with regard to the debate between anthropocentrism and non-anthropocentrism, a debate which plays a central role in questions of environmental philosophy and ethics. Thirdly, I turn to environmental justice studies where I contend there are complementarities between hermeneutics and environmental justice. From this reality, environmental justice and activism benefit from exploring environmental justice more deeply in light of philosophical hermeneutics. This dissertation is oriented toward a continuing dialogical relation between philosophical hermeneutics and environments insofar as environments are meaningful.

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  • August 2019

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  • Aug. 29, 2019, 10:25 a.m.

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Utsler, David. Hermeneutics, Environments, and Justice, dissertation, August 2019; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1538781/: accessed September 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .