Name: David Rozen
Supervisor: Ondrej Beran
Dissertation Subject: Attitudes towards the Environment, their Ethical Relevance and the Possibilities of their Transformation
In my dissertation, I proceed from the observation of our contemporary – seemingly paradoxical – situation that our environmental knowledge does not lead to appropriate environment-preserving behavior. This fact reveals that our environmental behavior is – contrary to common assumptions – not primarily determined by our environmental knowledge. In order to understand our contemporary situation, we need to see it perspicuously in a relevant context; we need to go under the misleading technical surface of our environmental discussions and capture clearly (with all significant connections) what is determinative for our environmental behavior.
As a starting point for this investigation, I use Wittgenstein’s term “attitude” – a basal, often unreflected way of relating to a given issue which defines the scope of our way of seeing connections in the world and therefore also of our behavior – which I develop in relation to nature and claim that our environmental behavior is primarily determined through our “attitudes towards nature.” And in the course of my dissertation, I aim at their clarification: I examine the genealogy, constitution, and functioning of our attitudes towards nature in the context of various related aspects of our lives in order to produce their perspicuous representation, which would help us to understand better (and perhaps change) our contemporary situation. Ultimately, my research aims to cultivate our way of seeing nature and relating to it.