17 april 17 - 12 june 2023
E-Seminar : Learning to Dwell
The fundamental thesis underlying this seminar is that there exists a kind of fittingness – even stronger, an affinity – between philosophy and ecology that invites us to think of these two disciplines together and in relation. Philosophy is occupied with the “big questions” of life and existence; its approach is often speculative and generalizing. Philosophy is the ongoing attempt to see the biggest picture, and to integrate all of experience into such a big picture. In this sense the Greek root word from which the word ecology stems is very appropriate: oikos – the house, the household, the dwelling place. Philosophy is about “learning to dwell,” to use a formulation of Martin Heidegger. What does it mean to be at home in the world? How should humans be at home in the world? And how should we live in our common home? Ecology, for its part, has since the middle of the 20th century as a discipline moved closer and closer to the life sciences and the natural sciences. But the fundamental philosophical presuppositions of ecology remain an open question. And the environmental catastrophe that is slowly unfolding in the 21st century affirms the intuition that the worldviews and philosophical presuppositions of the late-capitalist world must urgently be revisited. Making use of resources from process philosophy and from the work of Martin Heidegger, this seminar contributes to the discussion surrounding the characteristics of an integral ecology (Laudato Sí) by attempting an ecological introduction to philosophy.
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