Engagement with the Environment: Our Surest Recourse in the Age of Environmental Crises

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Originally published in Logos, an undergraduate journal of philosophy at Cornell University, June 1, 2023.


In this paper, I contemplate ways to make people voluntarily care about the environment and endeavor to ameliorate environmental problems. I aim at justifying the conclusion that if people engage with the environment, they care about and voluntarily becomes responsible for preserving its integrity. To do so, I argue for two following premises: (P1) if people engage with their (everyday) environments, then they care about and voluntarily becomes responsible for preserving their integrity and (P2) the environment (i.e. the biosphere) is their (everyday) environment. To validate P1, I deviate from traditional environmental aesthetics and argue for the necessity of what I call the ‘aesthetics of our environments.’ Also, I come up with two antithetical concepts, ‘engagement’ with and ‘exploitation’ of (everyday) environments through a conceptual analysis using a paradigm example. Then I argue that people’s engagement with their everyday environments guarantees their care about that environments. To validate P2, I zero in on one major disanalogy between everyday environments and the environment and argue that the uniqueness of the environment does not preclude people from engaging with it in a way that they do with their everyday environments. Finally, I complete this paper by suggesting a possible way to facilitate people’s engagement with the environment.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.