Deep in the Forest
This essay takes the form of a sketch of the rough outlines of a critical environmental hermeneutics. The author applies hermeneutics, narrative theory, and critical theory to environmental ethics, and uses this hermeneutical theory as a method to illuminate the “deep” underlying issues relating to the perception and use of forests. In applying this method, the author first takes up the analytical problem of identifying, clarifying, and ordering the different interpretive narratives about forests in terms of the underlying epistemological, ethical, and political issues involved. He then addresses the critical problem of deciding conflicts between these different interpretations of forests by working out a set of legitimation criteria to which all parties concerned would ideally be able to subscribe.
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