Nature, nihilism, and life in Heidegger and Nietzsche: Naturalistic metaphysical foundations for environmental ethics
My project pursues two tasks: first, it analyzes, compares, and evaluates the accounts of three concepts in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger: nature, nihilism, and life. Second, it spells out the implications of their work for environmental philosophy. Part One focuses on Heidegger's philosophy of nature. In the first chapter, I summarize the major branches of environmental philosophy and ethics and situate Heidegger within the field. In the next two chapters, I trace the development of the concept of nature in Heidegger's thought. Part Two centers on the concept of nihilism. In chapters 4, 5, and 6, I argue that Heidegger's and Nietzsche's vital contributions to the philosophy of nature stem in large part from their views of nihilism. Part Three examines the concept of life. Chapters 8 and 9 deal, respectively, with Heidegger's and Nietzsche's accounts of life, focusing specifically on their views of biology, the status of value, and the place of evolution in their philosophies of nature. In the final chapter, I situate Nietzsche within environmental ethics, review the secondary literature on the topic, and argue that he can be best framed as what we might call a "hierarchical biocentrist." ^
"Nature, nihilism, and life in Heidegger and Nietzsche: Naturalistic metaphysical foundations for environmental ethics"
(January 1, 2011).
ETD Collection for Fordham University.