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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 with and for Others

Environmental Hermeneutics with and for Others

Ricoeur’s Ethics and the Ecological Self

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter 7 Environmental Hermeneutics with and for Others
Source:
Interpreting Nature
Author(s):

Nathan M. Bell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823254255.003.0008

Paul Ricoeur defines the ethical intention as “aiming at the good life, with and for others, in just institutions.” This essay addresses Ricoeur’s ethical intention in relation to environmental ethics with particular reference to environmental identity. The ecological self is, hermeneutically, a direct result of one’s environmental ethic understood in terms of the good life, how this good life is lived with and for human and non-human others, and how social institutions justly embody it. In turn, one’s own self-concept (environmental identity or the ecological self) is shaped through how the good life is understood. Because of the social nature of an environmental ethical intention, questions of social justice related to environmental issues (also known as environmental justice) can be addressed in this framework.

Keywords:   Narrative, Environmental identity, Good life, Ethical intention, Environmental ethics, Ethical action, Ricoeur, Paul, Philosophical hermeneutics

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