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Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change Risking it All by Ruth Irwin

Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change Risking it All

Part of the Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy Series


Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change Risking it All by Ruth Irwin

The scale of some environmental problems, such as climate change and human overpopulation, exceed any one nation state and require either co-ordinated governance or a shift in the culture of modernity. Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change examines this crisis alongside Heidegger's ideas about technology and modernity. Heidegger suggests that refocusing on the primary questions that make it meaningful to be human - the question of Being - could create the means for alternative discourses that both challenge and sidestep the attempt for total surveillance and total control. He advocates recognising the problematic relationship humanity has with the environment and reinventing new trajectories of understanding ourselves and our planet. This book aims to properly integrate environment into philosophy and political theory, offering a constructive critique of modernity with some helpful suggestions for establishing a readiness for blue sky scenarios for the future. The book lays out the practical implications of Heidegger's ideas and engages with philosophy of technology, considering the constraints and the potentials of technology on culture and environment.


Ruth Irwin's Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change is a superbly written and theoretically coherent introduction to the most pressing issues that face our modernity. Drawing on Heidegger's inspiration and philosophy Irwin investigates not just climate change and the environmental crisis but the complex ways in which these problems stem from the larger problem of 'technological enframing
that has its roots in Western metaphysics and shapes the very questions of civilization and our own subjectivity. It is a book that should be widely read. (Professor Michael A

. Peters, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) The novelty of Irwin's approach lies in her attempt not to cherry pick those parts of Heidegger's philosophy that sound vaguely environmentally sensitive, but to fully engage with his critique of modernity and to try to integrate his philosophy into a novel way of thinking and ultimately Being...Irwin's ability to take a cross-disciplinary approach is one of the major strengths of her book and results in a well-rounded argument. In many ways I think Heidegger would approve. (Political Science, June 2009)

About the Author

Ruth Irwin is Senior Lecturer in Business Ethics at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th October 2011


Ruth Irwin

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Continuum Publishing Corporation


224 pages


Western philosophy, from c 1900 -
Social & political philosophy
Ethics & moral philosophy



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