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Taking a Glance at the Environment: Prolegomena to an Ethics of the Environment

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image of Research in Phenomenology

It is remarkable how much we can understand about an environmental problem at a mere glance. By means of a glance - at once quick and comprehensive - we can detect that something is going wrong in a given environmental circumstance, and we can even begin to suspect what needs to be done to rectify the situation. In this paper I explore the unsuspected power of the glance in environmental thought and practice, drawing special lessons for an ethics of the environment. Specific examples are analyzed, and authors as diverse as John Dewey and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari are invoked in an effort to develop a coherent vision of how the human glance helps to locate and remedy environmental crises.


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