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Interpreting NatureThe Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics$
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Forrest Clingerman, Brian Treanor, Martin Drenthen, and David Utsler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254255

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254255.001.0001

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How Hermeneutics Might Save the Life of (Environmental) Ethics

How Hermeneutics Might Save the Life of (Environmental) Ethics

(p.297) Chapter 15 How Hermeneutics Might Save the Life of (Environmental) Ethics
Interpreting Nature

Paul van Tongeren

Paulien Snellen

Fordham University Press

Can a hermeneutical approach be helpful to environmental moral philosophy? And if so, what— if any— would be the limits of this environmental hermeneutics? In order to answer these questions, the authors first introduce and summarize Bernard Williams’ criticism of “ethical theory” that, according to the authors, also applies to environmental ethics. Second, the authors point out why the limits of moral philosophy bring us to hermeneutics, in particular to hermeneutical ethics. In conclusion, the authors ask what the limits of this hermeneutics are, especially in the framework of a hermeneutical ethics of the environment.

Keywords:   Williams, Bernard, hermeneutical ethics, moral experience, ethical theory, limits of philosophy, Environmental ethics, Philosophical hermeneutics

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