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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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Environmental Hermeneutics and Environmental/Eco-Psychology

Environmental Hermeneutics and Environmental/Eco-Psychology

Explorations in Environmental Identity

(p.123) Chapter 6 Environmental Hermeneutics and Environmental/Eco-Psychology
Interpreting Nature

David Utsler

Fordham University Press

A recurring concept in environmental hermeneutics is environmental identity. Philosophical hermeneutics teaches us that in interpreting the world about oneself, one contemporaneously interprets oneself. Interpretation and self-interpretation are co-extensive. Understanding this hermeneutical phenomenon in the light of environmental issues, it is called “environmental identity.” This essay explores the concept of environmental identity in relationship to the discipline of environmental psychology and the therapeutic practices of eco-psychology. The purpose is to enrich the understanding of the concept of environmental identity to the benefit each of these respective fields through an interdisciplinary dialogue. Further, this essay argues that the use of environmental identity in environmental psychology and eco-psychology are instances of an “environmental hermeneutic of the self.” The conceptual and practical tools provided by environmental hermeneutics, therefore, can help further develop these other areas.

Keywords:   Environmental identity, Environmental psychology, Eco-psychology, Narrative, Philosophical hermeneutics, Selfhood, Environmental philosophy, Ricoeur, Paul, Gadamer, Hans-Georg

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