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Contact! Contact! Nature Preservation as the Preservation of Meaning

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In this paper, I reinterpret the conflict between rewilders and those who want to preserve traditional agricultural landscapes. By showing that underlying both positions is a common outlook in which nature preservation can be described as a primarily interpretative act geared towards the preservation of meaning by establishing a successful contact with external reality, I hope to refocus the debate away from the current stalemate. Too often, the debate ends in a dispute about what counts as 'real nature'. By interpreting nature preservation - whether it is directed at rewilding or at preserving old agricultural landscapes - as an act that is a response to nature's meanings, we will refocus attention on the real issue underlying preservation: articulating the ways nature is meaningful to us.
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Keywords: Rewilding; cultural landscapes; meaning; nature preservation; transcendence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2016

More about this publication?
  • 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 a Journal Impact Factor (2017) of 1.852. 5 Year Impact Factor: 1.8.
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