Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Martin Schönfeld

Co-Major Professor

Roger Ariew


Environment, Environmental Philosophy, Global Warming, Holism, Nature, Sustainability


The global community faces ecological problems with the natural environment and cultural impediments to solving them. Natural systems are constantly changing and so are cultural practices. Humans need to address both: the interaction between those dynamic systems, the natural and cultural, because what happens in one system changes things in the other. The changes to the ecosystems are rapid and sometimes irreversible while dealing with them has been inadequate. Environmental movements, including deep ecology, have been at the forefront of the efforts to engage the public, various groups, politicians, and world governments to address environmental problems on a coordinated large scale, but their efforts have not produced substantive results. Cultural, ideological, and other reasons provide some insights into the reasons why this has happened. They show that the ecological crisis is now at the point at which deep ecological principles offer a way out of the crisis more clearly, given that it offers a new, ecological worldview for humans to adopt. This worldview suggests there is inherent unity between the human and natural worlds based on the concept of interdependence. This paper attempts to show that such inherent unity exists and that humans need to use precaution because the risks are too great to ignore.

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