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Landscapes Devoid of Meaning? A Reply to Note

Martin Drenthen

Environmental Values 22 (2013): 17-23. doi: 10.3197/096327113X13528328798156


Even though artists and philosophers sometimes succeed in finding words for the meaning that places can have for us, we can never fully identify the meaning that places have for us. Nicole Note is right in arguing (using the work of Arnold Burms) that the ineffable plays a key role in the meaningful relations we have with the world, and that the experience of meaning can only emerge if there is a real risk that it fails to appear. Therefore, meaning cannot be 'produced'. I have argued, however, that we can be confronted with a far more radical loss of meaning when most at first meaningful interpretations of place appear to be consciously produced by marketeers and lobbyists. Yet, even this very feeling of estrangement can lead us to a sensitivity for the otherness of nature as a transcendental source of meaning.


Landscape; hermeneutics; meaning; estrangement; Arnold Burms

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Wildness as a Critical Border Concept: Nietzsche and the Debate on Wilderness Restoration. Martin Drenthen

Ecological Restoration and Place Attachment: Emplacing Non-Places?.Martin Drenthen

Wilderness as the Place between Philosophy and Theology: Questioning Martin Drenthen on the Otherness of Nature. Forrest Clingerman

Comment on Martin Drenthen's Article, 'Ecological Restoration and Place Attachment: Emplacing Non-Places?'.Nicole Note

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Changes Needed. Clive L. Spash

Pushing the Radical Nature Development Policy Concept in the Netherlands: An Agency Perspective. Simon Verduijn, Huub Ploegmakers, Sander Meijerink and Pieter Leroy

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