Deep Ecology and Ecofeminism: the Self in Environmental Philosophy

Dissertation, Lancaster (2002)
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Abstract

I consider the issue of the self and its relation to the environment, focusing on the accounts given in ecofeminism and deep ecology. Though both stress the relatedness of the human self to nature, these accounts differ in various ways. Ecofeminism stresses the value of personal relations with particular others, whereas deep ecology argues that we should expand our sense of self to include all natural others and the whole of nature. Deep ecology’s views on the self, which are loosely based on scientific ecology, are examined further and I argue that the implications are that selves are not to be seen as static things but rather as processes, and as constituted by their relations with others. This understanding of the self, I argue, enriches both deep ecology and ecofeminism’s claims on selfhood, and will enable the resolution of some of the difficulties they perceive in each other’s account.

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Colette Sciberras
Durham University

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