Nothing Else Matters

Towards an Ontological Concept of the Materiality of the Earth in the Age of Global Warming

In: Research in Phenomenology
View More View Less
  • 1 Wageningen University

Login via Institution


If the world in which we are intentionally involved is threatened by climate change, this raises the question about our place on Earth. In this article, we argue that the ecological crisis we face today draws our attention to the Earth as ontic-ontological condition of our being-in-the-world. Because the Earth is often reflected upon in relation to human existence, living systems or material entities in the philosophical tradition, we argue for an ontological concept of the materiality of the Earth as un-correlated being in this article. We develop five principles of the materiality of the Earth: the conativity, non-identity, responsiveness, performativity and eventuality of the Earth. We will argue that it is this notion of Earth that matters to us in the age of global warming.

  • Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Clark, Nigel. 2011. Inhuman Nature. Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet. Los Angeles: Sage.

  • Gibson, James. 1977. “The Theory of Affordances. In Perceiving, Acting and Knowing. Edited by R. Shaw and J. Bransford.Hillsdale, New Jersey: LEA, pp. 6782.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Grant, Iain Hamilton. 2006. Philosophies of Nature after Schelling. New York: Continuum

  • Grant, Iain Hamilton. 2007. “Speculative Realism.” Collapse III: 334345.

  • Groome, T.H. 1998. Sharing Faith: A Comprehensive Approach to Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry: The Way of Shared Praxis. Eugene: Wipf and Stock.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heidegger, Martin. 1982. On the Way to Language. Translated by Peter Hertz. New York: Harper Collins.

  • Heidegger, Martin. 1998. Pathmarks. Translated by Will McNeill. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Hird, M.J. 2009. The Origins of Sociable Life. Evolution after Science Studies. New York: Palgrave MacMillan

  • Jonas, Hans. 1966. The Phenomenon of Life. New York: Harper and Row.

  • Jonas, Hans. 1984. The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Kauffman, S.A. 1993. The Origins of Order. Self-organization and selection in Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Latour, Bruno. 1993. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Lovelock, J. 2006. The Revenge of Gaia. Why the Earth Is Fighting Back—And How We Can Still Save Humanity. New York: Penguin.

  • Maturana, H.R., and F.J. Varela. 1980. Autopoiesis and Cognition. Dordrecht/Boston: Reidel.

  • Meillassoux, Quentin. 2013. After Finitude. An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency. London: Bloomsbury.

  • Morton, Timothy. 2013. Hyperobjects. Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Minneapoli: Universsity of Minnesota Press.

  • Schalow, Frank. 2006. The Incarnality of Being. The Earth, Animals, and the Body in Heidegger’s Thought. Albany: SUNY Press.

  • Spinoza, Benedict. 1992. Ethics: Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, and Selected Letters. Translated by S. Shirley. Indianapolis: Hackett.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Toadvine, Ted. 2012. “Enjoyment and Its Discontents. On Separation from Nature in Levinas”. In Facing Nature. Levinas and Environmental Thought. Edited by W. Edelglass, J. Hatley, and C. Diehm. Duquesne: Pittsburgh.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vernadsky, V. 1998. The Biosphere. New York: Copernicus.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 278 198 12
Full Text Views 43 18 0
PDF Downloads 39 12 0