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The Noetics of NatureEnvironmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible$
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Bruce V. Foltz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254644

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254644.001.0001

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Whence the Depth of Deep Ecology?

Whence the Depth of Deep Ecology?

Natural Beauty and the Eclipse of the Holy

(p.23) Chapter 1 Whence the Depth of Deep Ecology?
The Noetics of Nature

Bruce V. Foltz

Fordham University Press

To advance the discourse of texts and surfaces is to embrace a logic of dreams, rejecting the deep eternity of earth and sky for the postmodern shallows of history and narrative. And although Arne Naess and his philosophy of “deep ecology”—which today often serves as a program for environmental action—invokes the notion of depth, he leaves it philosophically unclarified and unexplored. Rendering luminous surface and text alike, this unexamined depth of nature entails both beauty and eternity, as Nietzsche and Camus understood. But as Heidegger, following Hölderlin, as well as Florensky comprehended, these both lead to a certain element of the holy in nature that Hopkins called “the dearest freshness deep down things.” It is argued that without these depths of beauty, eternity, and the holy, the deepest grounds, and the ultimate motive, for environmental action can be neither adequately understood nor sufficiently motivated.

Keywords:   Deep Ecology, Arne Naess, Albert Camus, Postmodernism, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Hölderlin, Pavel Florensky, Beauty, The Holy

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