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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Simon Paul James

James, Simon P. (2013). Finding - and Failing to Find - Meaning in Nature. Environmental Values 22(5): 609-625.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper is about how we should evaluate our tendencies to find - or fail to find - different meanings in the natural world. It has three aims: (1) to show that some virtues and vices can be exhibited in our tendencies to find or to overlook the meanings of natural things, even if it is unclear whether any can only be exhibited in our relations with such things; (2) to categorise some of the relevant virtues and vices; and (3) to refute the objection that meaning-focused approaches to environmental philosophy, of the sort adopted by writers such as Alan Holland and myself, cannot adequately account for nature's independence from human concerns.