Strange strangers and uncanny hammers: Morton's The Ecological Thought and the phenomenological tradition

Samantha Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Phenomenological notions of ‘dwelling’, particularly as presented by Heidegger, have recently come in for a great deal of criticism (Garrard 2010; Morton 2010; Plumwood 2008; Spencer 2010). This article will evaluate these criticisms, particularly those set out by Timothy Morton in his book The Ecological Thought (2010). Morton argues that the concepts of the ‘lifeworld’ and ‘dwelling’ raise several problems: the extinguishing of the ‘otherness’ of nature, the eradication of difference and the equating of ‘place’ with ownership, exclusion and nationalism, thus failing to allow for uncanniness within intimacy, and for other beings to remain ‘strange strangers’ (Morton 2010). I will consider whether Morton's notion of an ecological ‘mesh’ may be a reiteration of the insights of those thinkers he is criticising, and I will argue that the phenomenology of Heidegger and Husserl has more space for gaps, absence and uncanniness than Morton and others are allowing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalGreen Letters
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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