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Aquaphobia, Tulipmania, Biophilia: A Moral Geography of the Dutch Landscape

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Abstract:

In Genesis (1:9-10) we are told that God gathered the waters into one place, in order to let the dry land appear, which He called earth, while the waters were called seas. In the Netherlands, this process took more than a single day, and it was the work of man. Gradually, a cultivated landscape emerged out of diffuse nature. In the course of centuries, the Dutch determined the conditions that allowed different aspects of nature to present themselves. This process is described as a moral geography in the sense that different types of landscape are read as a manifestations (or materialisations) of different moral attitudes towards nature, whereas concrete landscape interventions are interpreted as instances of moral criticism directed towards the activities and values of previous generations. At present, this process (the genesis of the Dutch landscape) is being reversed, as diffuse, wetland nature is experiencing a come-back.

Keywords: basic attitudes towards nature; environmental history; philosophy of landscape; wetland rehabilitation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3197/096327103129341252

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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