IEP 405: Phenomenology and Environment

AWAYMAVE - The Distance Mode of MA in Values and the Environment at Lancaster University


Core text

The core text for this module is Sokolowski, R. Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
This is an accessible but not over simplified introduction. I have listed particular chapters for various weeks, but this is to some extent arbitrary and I recommend you read the whole text as early as you can. Alternatively, it does have a good index so until you get the chance to read it all you can dip in anywhere to help clear up a particular meaning or issue.

A highly recommended text to read along side the module is Ted Toadvine and Charles Brown's Ecophenomenology

Set Readings

Husserl E. (1917) ‘Pure Phenomenology, Its Method and Its Field of Investigation’ available on the web at

Heidegger: ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’available on the discussion site

Mugerauer, R. (1994) 'Heidegger: Retreiving the Still-Coming Source' chapter 5 of Interpretations on Behalf of Place, New York: SUNY Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. ‘The Intertwining – the Chiasm’ ch 4 of The Visible and The Invisible trans. Lingus, A. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968.

Clarke, Melissa. 'Ontology, Ethics, and Sentir: Properly Situating Merleau-Ponty, Environmental Values 11, 211-25.

Kohák, E. 'Method in Phenomenology' in Kohák Idea and Experience pp.132-151

Moustakas, C. 'Epoché, Phenomenological Reduction, Imaginative Variation, and Synthesis' in Moustakas, C. Phenomenological Research Methods pp. 84-102

Dovey, K. 'Putting Geometry in its Place: Toward a Phenomenology of the Design Process' in Seamon, D. Dwelling, Seeing, and Designing

Stefanovic, I. 'Phenomenological Reflections on Ecosystem Health' in Ethics and the Environment Vol 5:2 (2000) available on-line through Science Direct.

Further reading

For your chosen essay topic you are expected to go beyond the set readings and the following is offered as a guide to some of 'what is out there'. If your essay is mainly about one of e.g., Husserl, Heidegger or Merleau-Ponty, you will need access to at least one of their key writings.

Introductory texts

Hammond, M Understanding Phenomenology (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1992). Excellent on Husserl, Satre and Merleau-Ponty.

Farber, M. The Aims of Phenomenology (New York: Harper and Row, 1966).

Spiegelberg, H. The Phenomenological Movement Vols. 1 and 2. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1978). Very complete account of the ideas and the figures behind them.


Husserl, E. Cartesian Meditations trans. Cairns, D. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982). Short and much more accessible than Crisis.
Husserl, E. The Idea of Phenomenology trans. Alston, W.P. and Nakhnikian, G. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1964). Also short and much more accessible than Crisis.
Husserl, E. Introduction to the Logical Investigations trans. Bossert, P. and Peters, C. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975).
Husserl, E. ‘‘Phenomenology’ Edmund Husserl’s article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1927: a new complete translation by Palmer, R.E.’ in British Society for Phenomenology Journal 2. 1971. pp.77-90. Short but rather impenetrable.
Husserl, E. The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology trans. Carr, D. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970).

Bell, D. Husserl (London: Routledge, 1991).
Mohanty, J.N. Phenomenology: Between essentialism and transcendental philosophy (Evenston: Northwestern University press, 1997).
Levinas, E. Discovering Existence with Husserl trans. Cohen, R. & Smith, M. (Evenston: Northwestern University press, 1998).
J.P.Sartre: "Intentionality: A Fundamental Idea of Husserl's Phenomenology" in Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology May 1970
Ihde, D. eds. Dialogues in Phenomenology (The Hague: Matinus Nijhoff, 1975).
Lauer Q.S.J. The Triumph of Subjectivity (New York: Fordham University Press, 1978).
Pettit, P. On The Idea of Phenomenology (Dublin: Scepter Publishers, 1969).


Heidegger: Being and Time Blackwell, 1980.
Heidegger: "The Age of the World Picture" in Lovitt in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays trans W.Lovitt. New York, Harper & Row 1977. also in D F Krell (ed) Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings RKP 1978
Heidegger: "Building Dwelling Thinking" in Krell ibid
D. Cooper: Heidegger (1996)
H. Dreyfus: Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time, Division I MIT, 1991.
Allan Megill: Prophets of Extremity University of California Press 1985: Chapter 3 'Heidegger and Crisis'.
George P Cave: "Animals, Heidegger, and the Right to Life" Environmental Ethics vol 4 Fall 1982.
Harold Alderman: "Heidegger's Critique of Science and Technology" in Michael Murray (ed): Heidegger and Modern Philosophy Yale Univ. Press, New Haven & London 1978.


Merleau-Ponty, M. Phenomenology of Perception trans. Smith, C. (London: Routledge, 1998). The major work.
Merleau-Ponty, M. The Visible and Invisible trans. Lingis, A. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968). M-Ps last work incomplete and pieced together from working notes - more radical in its dissolution of the subject/ object than PP.
Merleau-Ponty, M. The Structure of Behavior trans. Fisher, A. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964).
Merleau-Ponty, M. Sense and Non-Sense trans. Dreyfus, L. & Dreyfus Allen, P. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964).
Merleau-Ponty, M. 'Eye and Mind' in Johnson, G. ed The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1993).
Langer, M. Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception: a guide and commentary (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, 1989). A useful aid for reading alongside PP.
Johnson, G. 'The Colours of Fire: Depth and desire in Merleau-Ponty's "Eye and Mind"' in Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Vol. 25, No. 1. 1994. pp. 53 - 63.
Madison, G. The Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1981).
Dillon, M.C. ed. Merleau-Ponty Vivant (New York: SUNY, 1991).
Pietersma, H. Merleau-Ponty: Critical Essays (Washington D.C. University Press of America, 1989).
Bender, F. 'Merleau-Ponty and Method: Toward a critique of Husserlian Phenomenology and of reflective philosophy in general' Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology Vol14:2 1983.

Goethean Science

Amrine F. Goethe and the Sciences: a reappraisal (Dordrecht: D.Reidel Publishing Co. 1987).
Bockemühl, Jochen Awakening to Landscape (Dornach: Allgemeine Anthroposophiche Gesellschaft 1992).
Bortoft, H. The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s way of science (Edinbugh: Floris Books, 1996).
Brook, I ‘Goethean Science as a Way to Read Landscape’ Landscape Research Vol 23, No. 1, 1998 pp. 51-69.
Brook, I ‘Goethean Science in Britain’(PhD thesis: Lancaster University, 1994).
Eckermann, J.P. Conversations With Goethe (London: Dent, 1935).
Fink, K. Goethe’s History of Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Goethe, J.W.von Italian Journey trans. W.H.Auden and E.Mayer (London: Collins 1962).
Goethe, J.W. Scientific Studies ed. and trans. Miller, D. (New York: Suhrkamp Publishers, 1988).
Seamon, D. and Zajonc, A. eds Goethe’s Way of Science (New York: SUNY, 1998).

Environmental writings using or about a phenomenological approach

Langer, M. 'Merleau-Ponty and Deep Ecology' in Philosophy of Nature, Derrida, and Hegel
Foltz, B. 'On Heidegger and the Interpretation of Environmental Crisis' Environmental Ethics Vol 6:4 1984 pp. 323-338.
Barabas, R. ‘Merleau-Ponty and Nature’ Research in Phenomenology Vol 31, 2001 available on-line.
Wood, D. ‘What is Ecophenomenology’ Research in Phenomenology Vol 31, 2001 available on-line.
Toadvine, T. ‘Naturalizing Phenomenology’ Philosophy Today SPEP supplement 1999.
Kohák, E. ‘Varieties of Ecological Experience’ Environmental Ethics Vol 19:2 1997 pp. 153-172
Zimmerman, M. 'Toward a Heideggarian Ethos for Radical Environmentalism' Environmental Ethics Vol 5:2 1983 pp. 99-132.
Zimmerman, M. 'Rethinking the Heidegger-Deep Ecology Relationship' Environmental Ethics Vol. 15:3 1993 pp. 195-224.
Zimmerman, M. 'Heidegger, Buddhism, and Deep Ecology' in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger ed. Guignon, C. (Cambridge, University Press, 1993).
David Cooper: "The Idea of Environment" in Cooper and Palmer (eds) The Environment in Question Routledge, London and New York, 1992
H.I.Dreyfus & S.E.Dreyfus: "What is morality? a phenomenological account of the development of ethical expertise" in D. Rasmussen (ed.) Universalism vs. Communitarianism. This is on morality rather than environment; but it is a very interesting example of phenomenology at work.
Neil Evernden: The Natural Alien: Humankind and Environment University of Toronto Press 1985
Neil Evernden: The Social Creation of Nature The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1992
Neil Evernden: "Beyond Ecology: Self, Place, & the Pathetic Fallacy" The North American Review Winter 1978
J.M.Howarth: "The Crisis of Ecology: a phenomenological perspective" Environmental Values Feb 1995.
J.M.Howarth: "Nature's Moods" British Journal of Aesthetics April 1995.
Arne Naess: Ecology, Community and Lifestyle Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1989 has some interesting comments on phenomenology - Chapter 2, especially secs 3 and 4.


Bachelard, G. The Poetics of Space trans. Jolas, M. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994).
Pickles, J. Phenomenology, Science and Geography (Cambridge University Press, 1985). Very critical of a lot of the attempts to use phenomenology in human geography.
Relph, E. Place and Placelesness (London: Pion, 1976).Classic text
Casey, E. The Fate of Place: A philosophical history (Berkley: University of California Press, 1998)
Tilley, C. A Phenomenology of Landscape (Oxford: Berg, 1994). from an archeological perspective.
Leach, N. ‘The Dark Side of the Domus’ in Ballantyne, A. ed.What is Architecture (London: Routledge, 2002). Good on whether there is an essentially nationalistic flavour to the concept of dwelling.
Hay, P. A Companion to Environmental Thought ch. 6 (Edinburgh University Press, 2002).
Seamon, D. ‘Phenomenology and Environment-Behaviour Research’ in Advances in Environment, Behaviour and Design Vol.1. eds. Zube, E.H. and Moore, G.T. (New York: Plenum, 1987). pp.3-27.
Seamon, D. ‘Phenomenology and the Environmental Experience Groups’ in Seamon, D. A Geography of the Lifeworld (London: Croom Helm, 1979).
Seamon, D. and Mugerauer, R. eds. Dwelling Place and Environment (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985).
Malpas, J. Place an Experience: A philosophical topography (Cambridge University Press, 1999) excellent on subject/object and informed from a philosophy of mind perspective.
Entrikin, J. N. The Betweeness of Place (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1991).
Entrikin, J.N. ‘Contemporary Humanism in Geography’ Annals of the Association of American Geographers vol 66, No 4, Dec. 1976.
Samuels, M.S. ‘Existentialism and Human Geography’ in Ley, D. and Samuels, M.S. (eds): Humanistic Geography London, Croom Helm. 1978
Johnston, R.J. Philosophy and Human Geography Edward Arnold, 1980 ch 3.
Other phenomenological geographers who are frequently cited in the literature are A. Buttimer and F-Y Tuan.

Uses in Social Sciences

Shultz, A. and Luckmann, T. The Structures of the Life-World trans. Zaner, R.& Englehardt, H.T. (London: Heinemann 1974). The classic text.
Spurling, L. Phenomenology and the Social World (London: RKP, 1977).
Van Manen, M. Researching Lived Experience (London: Althouse, 1990).
Paley, J. 'Misinterpreting Phenomenology: Heidegger, Ontology and Nursing Research' Journal of Advanced Nursing Vol 27:4 1998 pp. 817-823.

Useful Journals:

In the library
Environmental Ethics
Environmental Values (back copies available on line)
Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology

Not in the library
Research in phenomenology (available on line)
Ethics and Environment (back copies available on line)

Useful Web pages
There are several relevant papers in the Thingmount working papers archive see

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