The Philosopher’s Cabin and the Household of Nature

May 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

The Philosopher’s Cabin and the Household of Nature,” Ethics, Policy & Environment, 6:2 (2003), 131-141.

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The etymological origin of ecology in the human house is the point of departure of this article. It argues that oikos is not merely a vague metaphor for ecology, but that built households provide a key to understanding the household of nature. Three households support this claim: the cabins of Henry Thoreau, Aldo Leopold and Arne Næss. This article suggests that their views on the household of nature stand in direct relationship with their respective homes. They also have a distant epistemological bird’s-eye view of nature seen from homes which were located – imaginary or real – on a mountaintop.

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