CALL FOR PAPERS – Natura Vocare: Lived Experience and the Ecological Ethic

phandprThis special issue of “Phenomenology and Practice” seeks to explore how the human sciences speak to our embodied connectedness to the world. Phenomenology allows for an understanding of how we are in the world that moves the focus to our situated-ness and emphasizes the importance of engagement, encounter and the practices of living. How might phenomenology bring us a new awareness for how we are embedded in a network of relations and interactions through which our lives continually unfold? Andy Fisher says a turn to the experiential requires us to pay attention “not only to our experience of nature, but to the nature in our experience.” What can phenomenology, with its emphasis on the relational and the corporeal, add to ecological discourse?

We invite contributors to consider also how we are to understand the “world” as comprised of living others imbued with intentionality, or what the Greeks called, “physis.” Physis is that which unfolds and emerges of and from itself, while continually returning back into itself – those things that disclose themselves from out of their own concealed abundance. Worldly things have their own inwardness and the very condition for their appearing meaningful is related to having their own complexity, mystery, intentions which invite us into some kind of relation. How do we experience an entity, either living or seemingly inanimate, as not merely an object, but as some-thing with which we share a reciprocal relationship, so that despite our dependency on it, we may learn to tend it and conserve it, rather than exploit it? How may we, as suggested by Heidegger, come to poetically “dwell” and truly “in-habit” our places with respect and restraint? David Abram asks if the relatively new ecological ethos that includes our “co-evolved embedded-ness within the terrestrial web of life” can help us to truly understand that all which we do and think is “secretly dependent on, and constrained by, our immersion in this earthly world…”

We invite articles that explore the reciprocal, interactive, dialogical nature of our earthly embeddeness and the deeply relational nature of what it means to sustain ourselves and flourish in our places. How does careful attention to lived experience, as individuals, and across a range of professional practices such as pedagogy, counselling, health studies, psychology, social work, among others, allow for the creativity and awareness inherent in the felt meaning of human existence, to deepen understanding of experiencing a world with its own mystery and intentionality? In what ways can our lives and our professional practices inform our relationships with a world that sustains us and surrounds us? How can these practices orient us to a dialogue that must also grow and develop if life is to go on?

Submissions by May 31st, 2013

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