Recent noteworthy publications

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Recent noteworthy publications:

Adler, Jeremy, Martin Swales and Ann Weaver, editors, Models of Wholeness: Some Attitudes to Language, Art and Life in the Age of Goethe, (Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2002.) Thirteen essays by “two of the greatest British Germanists,” Elizabeth Mary Wilkinson and Leonard Ashley Willoughby, written between 1942 and 1969, on Goethe’s works and Schiller’s aesthetics. “Wholeness” is the key concept explored in the book.

Aplet, Gregory H., “On the Nature of Wilderness: Exploring what Wilderness Really Protects,” in Denver University Law Review, Vol. 76, 1999, pp. 347-367. According to Aplet, wilderness is neither an idea nor a place. “It is a place where an idea is clearly expressed.” Wilderness is seen in terms of a continuum, where wildness is appreciated as existing all around us, even as it can be celebrated at the other end of the continuum.
Babich, Babette E., Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science, Van Gogh’s Eyes and God: Essays in Honor of Patric A. Heelan, S.J., (Kluwer: 2002.) The book bridges analytic and phenomenological philosophy of science to discuss such issues as the psychology of perceptions of space, the history and philosophy of art and the relation between religion and science.
Barnhill, David Landis and Roger S. Gottlieb, editors, Deep Ecology and World Religions, (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2001.) A publication that came out of the session on the topic, at the 1997 American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting.

Bekoff, Marc, “Redecorating Nature: Reflections on Science, Holism, Community, Humility, Reconciliation, Spirit, Compassion and Love,” in Human Ecology Forum, Vol. 7, no. 1, 2000. Pp. 59-67. The author argues for a “holistic and heart-driven compassionate science” to replace reductionist, positivist versions of scientific research. Bekoff is also author of “Beastly Passions,” in New Scientist, No. 2236, 29 April, 2000, pp. 32-35 and is editor of The Smile of a Dolphin: Remarkable Accounts of Animal Emotions (New York: Random House, 2000.) In both works, he tries to show how emotions are not exclusive to human beings only.

Bergo, Bettina, Levinas Between Ethics and Politics: For the Beauty that Adorns the Earth, (Duquesne University Press, 2002.) An advanced discussion of Levinas’ phenomenology and hermeneutics of subjectivity, indicating a critical perspective on the use of phenomenology in ethics, as well as the challenges for postmodernism in exploring the relationship between ethics and politics.

Berry, Thomas, The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, (New York: Random House, 1999.) ISBN 0-609, 60525.9. In The Bloomsbury Review, Thomas Rain Crowe calls this book “the modern equivalent of the biblical book of Revelation.” Berry argues here against the primacy of human development that proceeds at the expense of non-human life forms. Calling for a paradigm shift where “we must…re-invent the human itself,” he suggests that we rethink the notion of “intimacy,” specifically with regard to a renewed and more discerning relationship with our natural world.
Berleant, Arnold, editor, Environment and the Arts: Perspectives on Environmental Aesthetics, (UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2002.) A collection on the theme of environmental aesthetics, collecting authors from a range of nationalities and cultures, from Great Britain to Finland and Japan.
Berthold-Bond, Daniel, “The Ethics of ‘Place’: Reflections on Bioregionalism,” in Environmental Ethics, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 5-24. An introduction to the concept of place in bioregional theory, that shows why place is more than an objective, geometrical category. I’m personally nervous about the “objective/subjective” terms in the article but overall, it provides a general conception of place to novices.
Blakeley, Donald, “Neo-Convucian Cosmology, Virtue Ethics and Environmental Philosophy, in Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Vol. 8, no. 2, Fall-Winter 2001, pp. 37-49/ Explores the extend to which the Confucian concept of ren (humanness) can be compared to contemporary environmental virtue ethics.
Bluhdorn, Ingolfur, Post-Ecologist Politics: Social Theory and the Abdication of the Ecologist Paradigm, (London: Routledge, 2000.) The “crisis of the eco-movement” is found to be socially constructed. The author concludes that “ecological thought…has to become fully anthropocentric and turn into social theory.”
Bohm, David and F. David Peat, Science, Order and Creativity, (NY: Routledge, 2000.) Shows how science cannot provide sufficient guidance in decision making when it is divorced from disciplines such as philosophy, art and religion.
Bohme, Gernot, “Acoustic Atmospheres: A Contribution to the Study of Ecological Aesthetics,” in Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 14-18. A range of insights are presented here: how the environmental crisis represents a challenge to aesthetics; how an aesthetic of atmospheres reveals the latter to “stand between subjects and objects… Their great value lies exactly in this in-betweeness;” how music is the “fundamental atmospheric art,” opening up new visions of acoustic space. The journal is a new publication of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. More information is available through their website:

Booth, Michael, “Health and Wholeness from Topology to Laughter: Notes Toward a Theory of Connectedness,” in Ecosystem Health, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2000. (ISSN: 1076-2825.) Pp. 92-98. A thoughtful piece that explores six approaches to the study of wholeness, concluding with a sketch of how these approaches are relevant to studies of ecosystem health. The essay ends with some thoughts about humour and laughter that “has embodiment as its focus and its practice” as it “transforms the topology of the body’s cares” to enlarge one’s sense of well being. A great read. The journal is published by Blackwell, but originates from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Bordon, Iain, Jane Randall, Joe Kerr and Alicia Pivaro, eds., The Unknown City: Contesting Architecture and Social Space, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000.) Inspired by the work of Henri Lefebvre, the book brings together essays on spatial production and representations to reflections on “knowing a place.”
Bortoft, H. The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way toward a Science of conscious participation in nature. (Hudson, NY: Lindesfarne Press, 1996.) A lucid and thoughtful introduction to the Goethean phenomenology of scientific thinking on nature. Includes an expanded version of Bortoft’s wonderful essay on holistic thinking on nature, originally presented as “Counterfeit and authentic wholes: Finding a means for dwelling in nature,” in David Seamon and Robert Mugerauer’s edited volume, Dwelling, Place and Environment (NY: Columbia University Press, 1985.)
Botta, Mario, The Ethics of Building (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1997.) Originally Etica del costruire, (Rome: Gius. Laterza & Figla Spa, 1996.) Renowned for his monumental, iconographic, postmodern designs, architect Mario Botta here describes some of the convictions underlying his thirty year career. “Architecture,” he writes, “is an ethical discipline, even before it is an aesthetic one. Within the spatial organization of human society, there is always a moral tension which tends to favour certain principles of habitation over others. When a building is actually constructed, these principles become ‘rights’ of habitation, ‘natural’ rights of which people are free to avail themselves as they wish.” (28) Botta reflects on home, palazzo and civic building, the factory as workplace, the church and finally, the museum as both “secular cathedral and place of communication.” The book is more a series of passing reflections with sketches, than a philosophical treatise of any sort, but it has its thought-provoking moments nonetheless.
Boulting, Noel E., “The Aesthetics of Nature,” in Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Vol. 6, No. 3-4, Fall-Winter 1999, pp. 21-34. Three paradigms for the aesthetic experience of nature are presented: (1) Specularism (nature as picture); (2) Scientific Exemplarism (aesthetic experience as subject to scientific description;) (3) Perspectivalism, which purports to support a phenomenological approach – one that is ultimately linked to a more “spiritual” perspective.
Braden, Kathleen, “On Saving the Wilderness: Why Christian Stewardship is Not Sufficient,” in Christian Scholars Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1998, pp. 254-269. Three phases define the human/earth relation: wild earth, tamed earth and the tended earth. The author argues for a restraint of human action according to the teachings of Matthew, rather than an ethic of stewardship, since the latter suggests the possibility of management of that which is ultimately unmanageable by human beings.
Braun, Bruce, Noel Castree eds., Remaking Relaity: Nature at the Millenium, (New York: Routledge, 1998). Chapters include “Whose nature, whose Culture?: Private productions of space and the preservation of nature;” “Science, social constructivism and nature;” “Reasserting nature: constructing urban environments after Fordism.”
Briggs, Robert, “Wild Thoughts: A Deconstructive Environmental Ethics,” in Environmental Ethics, Summer 2001, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 115-134. According to the author, deconstruction is typically depicted as “destructive” and “nihilistic.” This article debunks this myth by showing how deconstruction affirms a radical obligation towards the other.
Brennan, Teresa, Exhausting Modernity, (NY: Routledge, 2000.) Using the insights of Marx and Freud, Brennan discusses some of the reasons for the contemporary environmental collapse and increased global disparity. She links the consumption of resources to our “depleted psychic life,” suggesting the need for a rethinking of modernity for a sustainable future.
Budd, Malcom, “Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature,” in British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 38, 1998. Part I: 1-18; Part II: 117-126; Part III: 233-250. Proceeds from an introduction to Kant’s notion of an aesthetic judgment to his conception of a judgment of the sublime in nature.
Buttimer, Anne and Luke Walling, eds., Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective, (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999.) Essays cover themes such as “nature, home and horizon” as well as narrative imagination in the landscape. Buttimer is a geographer who has published extensively in environmental phenomenology.
Callicott, J. Baird and Michael P. Nelson, The Great New Wilderness Debate, (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1998.) The “debate” here is whether the “received idea of wilderness” as an area uninhabited by humans is a troublesome social or cultural construct. Part I sets out the received idea through authors like Emerson, Thoreau and Leopold. Part II critiques this perspective of wilderness from the perspective of the developing world. Part III reveals problems with the traditional interpretation of wilderness because of implicit assumptions of, for example, a false dichotomy between humans and nature. Part IV presents alternatives to the “received idea” of wilderness. In an age where terms like “urban wilderness” are becoming more frequent, this kind of exploration of the “wilderness debate” is welcome.
Carlson, Allen, Aesthetics and the Environment: The Appreciation of Nature, Art and Architecture, (New York: Routledge, 1999.) Makes the link between aesthetics and the natural environment, contrasting the notion of traditional aesthetics as associated simply with works of art.
Carlson, Allen, “On Aesthetically Appreciating Human Environments,” in Philosophy and Geography, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2001, pp. 9-24. Argues against what the author calls the “designer landscape approach” to advocate an ecological approach to the aesthetics of human environments.
Casey, Edward S., “J.E. Malpas’ Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography, (Cambridge University Press, 1999): Converging and diverging in/on place” in Philosophy and Geography, Vol. 4, no. 2, 2001, pp. 225-238. An exchange between Malpas and Casey on issues of place.
Casey, Edward S., “Smooth Spaces and Rough-Edged Places: The Hidden History of Place,” Review of Metaphysics, 51 (1997) pp. 267-296. Enlarging upon previous works such as the seminal Getting Back into Place (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993) and The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.)
Cavell, Richard, McLuhan in Space: A Cultural Geography, (Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2002.) The publisher claims that this is the first book to propose that media guru Marshall McLuhan can be read as a spatial theorist. Extending insights from physics and artistic experimentation into a theory of acoustic space, McLuhan then challenged assumptions of visual space that had arisen through 500 years of print culture.
Childress, Herb, Landscapes of Betrayal, Landscapes of Joy: Curtisville in the Lives of its Teenagers, (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2000.) Forthcoming in David Seamon’s Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology series. Children figure all too rarely in phenomenological works. This book shows how teenagers are able to find meaning in everyday situations and routine places in a small Californian town.
Cloke, Paul and Owain Jones, “Dwelling, Place and Landscape: An Orchard in Somerset,” in Environment and Planning a, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2001, pp. 649-666.

This paper aims to develop the concept of dwelling as a means of theorizing place and landscape. The authors recognize that dwelling has emerged as an important concept in relation to studies of nature, place and landscape. Building on Heidegger’s notion of dwelling as adapted by Ingold, they claim to develop “a more critical appreciation of dwelling in the context of an orchard in Somerset” that they researched as a place of “hybrid constructions of nature and culture.”

Conroy, Donald B. and Rodney L. Petersen, eds., Earth at Risk: An Environmental Dialogue between Religion and Science, (New York: Humanity Press, 2000.) The publisher tells us that while the book is “based within a Christian context, [it] includes representative voices from Jewish, Muslim and secular perspectives as well as from the scientific and environmental communities.”
Cooper, Nigel S., “Speaking and Listening to Nature: Ethics Within Ecology,” Biodiversity and Conservation, 9, no. 8, 2000, pp. 1009-1027. One concern here is whether the social construction of science will threaten genuine attempts to listen to and care for the natural world.
Corbin, Alain, Village Bells: Sound and Meaning in the 19th Century French Countryside, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.) A mapping of the balance of the senses, as deciphered through the tradition of writing on bells.
Crabtree, Benjamin F. and Miller, William L., eds., Doing Qualitative Research, second edition, (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications Inc., 1999.) 406pp. For environmental philosophers aiming at interdisciplinary and pragmatic research, this book is a lucid introduction to project design and interpretive strategies. Chapters include “A Grounded Hermeneutic Editing Approach” (by Richard B. Addison,); “Depth Interviewing” and “The Dance of Interpretation” (by Miller and Crabtree) and similar articles on the significance of narratives. Sage puts out a number of works in the field of qualitative research.
Crang, Mike, and Nigel Thrift, ed., Thinking Space, (New York: Routledge, 2000.) An investigation of the “spatial turn” in social and cultural theory, from Deleuze to Lefebvre to Lacan and Foucault.
Cresswell, John W., Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions, (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc. 1998.) For those who are committed to applied projects, this book should be of interest. It surveys what the author feels are five core traditions in qualitative research: biography, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography and case study. A readable account of subtle distinctions among the traditions, as well as of how to design, conduct and verify qualitative studies.
Dalton, Anne Marie, A Theology for the Earth: The Contributions of Thomas Berry and Bernard Lonergan, (Ottawa, Canada: University of Ottawa Press, 1999.) Moving from Berry’s work, the publishers describe this book as “a challenge to Christian theologians to serious examine theology of creation. The work of the Canadian theologian, Bernard Lonergan, provides a significant example of how this challenge can be met.”
DeLaine, Marlene, Fieldwork, Participation and Practice: Ethics and Dilemmas in Qualitative Research (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000.) This book can be useful to those environmental philosophers who also extend their disciplines into social science, phenomenological research and wish to attend to some of the ethical challenges that their fieldwork may present to them.
de Silva, Padmasiri, Environmental Philosophy and Ethics in Buddhism, (London: Macmillan, 1998.) Interesting in its call for a multi-dimensional pedagogy and “emotional learning.”
Drummond, John J., editor, Phenomenological Approaches to Moral Philosophy: A Handbook, (Kluwer: 2002.) “This handbook aims to show the great fertility of the phenomenological tradition for the study of ethics and moral philosophy by collecting a set of papers on the contributions to ethical thought by major phenomenological thinkers.” Discussions range from the relation between phenomenology and “dominant” normative approaches in contemporary moral philosophy, to explorations of the thought of major ethical thinkers in the phenomenological tradition.
Dupré, Louis, Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture, (Yale University Press, 1995.) Challenging the position that modernity began with the Renaissance and ended with postmodernity, Dupré traces the fundamental principles to the late fourteenth century, and argues that it is still influential in contemporary culture.
Dwyer, Michael, J., Sea of Heartbreak: The Extroardinary Account of a Newfoundland Fishing Voyage, (Toronto, Canada: Key Porter Boooks, 2001.) Dwyer describes his voyage in the summer of 1998, on a turbot fishing expedition, aboard a 650foot steel trawler as it navigates its way through highly competitive fishing grounds. While overtaken by the beauty of the landscape, he becomes increasingly embittered as the fishing nets haul in more waste than turbot. A personal narrative that is moving and thought-provoking.
Elkins, James, How to Use Your Eyes, (NY: Routledge, 1999.) The book shows how common artifacts, usually ignored or misunderstood, can be interpreted differently if one learns to see differently. Commentators suggest that the book is “eccentric, ordinary, marvelous.”
Fairfield, Paul, The Ways of Power: Hermeneutics, Ethics and Social Criticism, (Duquesne University Press, 2002.) Argues that the main issues of ethics are no longer how to ground judgments on a clear, epistemological foundation but rather, to examine normative discourses rooted in tradition and invested with power.
Feagan, Robert and Michael Ripmeester, “Reading private green space: competing geographic identities at the level of the lawn,” in Philosophy and Geography, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2001, pp. 79-95. Private residential lawns are sites of contested meanings. This article explores two sets of discourses emerging from traditional lawn owners and ecological activists who deplore the environmental costs of manicured gardens.
Feenberg, Andrew, Questioning Technology, (NY: Routledge, 1999.) Argues for the democratization of technology and subjecting technology to democratic debate and reconstruction. Andrew Light calls this book “quite simply one of the best books in the field of philosophy of technology.”
Fisher, Andy, Radical Ecopsychology: Psychology in the Service of Life, (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2002.) Emphasizes the experiential (the author writes that “it uses bodily felt meaning as its touchstone”) and attempts to bridge critical currents in psychology and ecology. Emerged from a PhD thesis on the same topic.
Fox, Warwick, ed. Ethics and the Built Environment, (London: Routledge, 2000.) Fifteen articles try to remedy the pervasive neglect of environmental ethicists in addressing the problems of humanly constructed environments. The book is divided into three sections: (1) The Green Imperative – and its Vicissitudes; (2) Building with Greater Sensitivity to People(s) and Places; (3) Steps Towards a Theory of the Ethics of the Built Environment.
Frasz, Geoffrey, “What is Environmental Virtue Ethics that We Should be Mindful of It?” in Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Vol. 8, No. 2, Fall-Winter 2001, pp. 5-14. Describes central features of the growing interest in Environmental Virtue Ethics, and includes a preliminary list of significant environmental virtues. Also explores the virtue of friendship as a clue to understanding current issues in environmental ethics.
Führ, Eduard, ed., Building and Dwelling: Martin Heidegger’s Foundation of a Phenomenology of Architecture, [Bauen und Wohnen.] (Munich, Germany: Waxmann Verlag GmbH; NY: Waxmann, 2000.) Thirteen articles are collected here, many of them in German, and the collection includes an audio CD of Heidegger’s talk, “Bauen Wohnen Denken.” English papers include Gunter Dittman’s “Architecture as Dwelling and Building: Design as Ontological Act;” Karsten Harries’ “In Search of Home;” David Seamon’s “Concretizing Heidegger’s Notion of Dwelling” and others.
Foltz, Bruce, Inhabiting the Earth: Heidegger, Environmental Ethics and the Metaphysics of Nature, (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1995.) An outstanding book. Remains faithful to Heidegger, while enlarging upon his thought as it relates to environmental problems. A must-read for all environmental philosophers.
Fried, Gregory, Heidegger’s Polemos: From Being to Politics, (Yale University Press, 2000.) Focuses not on Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism, but on how his ontology relates to the political thinking that is expressed in his philosophical works.
Frodeman, Robert and Mitcham, Carl, “Geophilosophy: Philosophers and Geoscientists Thinking Together on the Future of the Earth Sciences,” GSA Today, Monthly newsletter of the Geological Society of America, Vol 9, No. 7, July 1999, pp. 18-19. Report on a workshop convened in Boulder, Colorado in 1999 that brought together environmental philosophers and geologists to make recommendations on future directions of the earth sciences. Also reported in the Hastings Center Report, May-June 1999, pp. 47-48.
Freund, Peter and George Martin, The Ecology of the Automobile, (Montreal, New York: Black Rose Books, 1993.) This book is not all that recent, but it is unique in that it contains interesting chapters on the ideology of automobility and “The Phenomenology of Automobility.” Describes such phenomena as “carcooning” – the sense of intimacy and shelter promoted by the car that encourages people to behave in uncharacteristic ways towards one another.
Fudge, Robert S., “Imagination and the Science-Based Aesthetic Appreciation of Unscenic Nature,” in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 59, no. 3, Summer, 2001, pp. 275-285. Some theorists have argued for a science-based appreciation of non-scenic nature but Fudge argues that the imagination can help to develop an aesthetic appreciation of unscenic nature that is guided by scientific knowledge.

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