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Engaging NatureEnvironmentalism and the Political Theory Canon$
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Peter F. Cannavò and Joseph H. Lane Jr.

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028059

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028059.001.0001

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Martin Heidegger: Individual and Collective Responsibility

Martin Heidegger: Individual and Collective Responsibility

(p.239) 13 Martin Heidegger: Individual and Collective Responsibility
Engaging Nature

W. S. K. Cameron

The MIT Press

W.S.K. Cameron argues that Martin Heidegger’s most ecologically oriented works, such as “The Question Concerning Technology,” diagnose modernity’s problematic will to “enframe” nature – i.e., control it as a stock of resources – but do not offer any solution, insofar as exercising the will to try and stop the domination of nature only feeds into the pursuit of control. Heidegger’s more constructive ecological insights are in Being and Time. Heidegger sees our mode of being, Dase in, as fundamentally shaped by prevailing convention but also open to surprises and new insights when it reaches the limits of commonly accepted perspectives. Via a critique of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong’s views on personal responsibility for addressing climate change, Cameron argues that Heidegger’s conception of Dase in can validate a micropolitics of individual action on this issue. For example, an individual who rejects reliance on the automobile and instead chooses to bicycle to work can create surprises and challenges for others’ existing mode of being and can help set political change in motion.

Keywords:   Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (Heidegger), “The Question Concerning Technology” (Heidegger), environmental political theory, Dasein, climate change, micropolitics, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

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