CFP – Phenomenology and the Environment

northern lightsIn the last ten years there has been an explosion of writing about the contributions phenomenology can make to our understanding of the environment.  The volume, proposed by Rowman & Littlefield, would be a compilation of essays reflecting the work of contemporary practitioners of phenomenology into the core questions of environmental philosophy.  The sense of “phenomenology” here is an expansive one, meant to include not only traditional varieties, but also those, for example, informed by more existential, hermeneutic, post-structuralist, or post-phenomenological approaches and figures.

The purpose of the manuscript is to extend the influence of phenomenology to a more interdisciplinary audience by writing in an accessible way that speaks to current environmental concerns without sacrificing the depth and complexity of the ideas under discussion.

To be more specific, the book will be divided into four sections, each corresponding to one area in which continental philosophers have written extensively: metaphysics, science and technology, ethics and politics, and aesthetics.  These are obviously very broad headings, but the idea is to present the continental tradition as a coherent and systematic alternative approach to environmental philosophy, one that shares the practical concerns of more conventional approaches but regards both what is at stake and how to approach it differently.  To do so, the volume’s emphasis will be on the use of concepts and methods (e.g., intentionality, embodiment, genealogy, relationality, the reductions, etc.) rather than on interpreting the thought of specific figures.

Some questions that might be considered include, but are not limited to the following

  • How can we best understand what nature is in a phenomenological philosophy?
  • What role does nature play in the constitution of the self?
  • What are more and less appropriate ways for humanity to inhabit the landscape?
  • Given phenomenology’s historical understanding of the sciences, what are some of the epistemological or practical issues in using science to discuss the environment?
  • Can certain technologies help us to address environmental concerns?
  • What attitudes or dispositions are most conducive to avoiding the mastery of nature?
  • Is phenomenology a post-humanist philosophy or another form of humanism?
  • Is the aesthetic appreciation of nature different from that of the work of art?
  • What might phenomenological aesthetics contribute to our understanding of natural beauty?

Submission guidelines

Proposals should be approximately 750-1000 words in length, explaining both the nature of the project and its specific relation to the phenomenological tradition (broadly conceived). Deadline for consideration: June 2nd, 2014.

Please direct all correspondence to
Bryan Bannon
Assistant professor of philosophy,
University of North Florida, U.S.A.