A Critical Ecohermeneutic Approach to Education
chapter five—inoculating hermeneutics: Heidegger substrates
inoculating hermeneutics: Heidegger substrates
A hermeneutic interest in tradition and ancestry (an interest in what Gary Snyder called “the old ways”) requires not simply the protective repetition of such traditions. Hermeneutics incites the particularities and intimacies of our lives to call these traditions to account, compelling them to bear witness to the lives we are living. Hermeneutics demands of such disciplines and traditions that they tell us what they know about keeping the world open and enticing and alive and inviting. And, to the extent that such disciplines and traditions can no longer serve this deeply pedagogical purpose, to that extent they are no longer telling, no longer helpful in our living, no longer true. (Jardine, 1998, p. 2)
Before we consider any specific features of an ecohermeneutic curriculum, I would like to ground this work in the modern hermeneutic tradition via a brief engagement with two of its foundational philosophers: Martin Heidegger (1962, 2001) and Hans-Georg Gadamer (2013). Their philosophical orientations, strategies and some of their key hermeneutic concepts will provide the substrates1 whereby we can inoculate and rethink these philosophers in light of more recent environmental theory and from within a world faced with ecological emergency. Ecohermeneutic inoculation in this respect is a deliquescent move—at once critical and remedial—that compels a tradition to reveal what it knows, what it has yet to teach, and where it needs to reconnect in order to remain in resonance with the world...
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