A Pragmatist Postmodern Rhetorical Criticism of the Deep Ecology Platform

Danny Edmund Iberri-Shea
Rhetoric, Northern Arizona University
April, 2005
 

Abstract

The following thesis is a pragmatist postmodern rhetorical criticism of the Deep Ecology Platform (DEP). By using the postmodern lens of Charles Taylor and his understanding of the expressive power of language, I then apply this lens to the language of the DEP as formulated by Arne Naess and George Sessions in 1984. This criticism is significant because it considers the implications of the vital normative premises of the Deep Ecology movement (DEM). Whereas most ecological writings on the issue of Deep Ecology have focused on the efficacy of the movement’s dictates as it relates to objective science and empiricism, this criticism focuses on the language of the DEP and considers the way that such language influences and constructs notions of self and community. By using a postmodern perspective then, the DEP is considered as a basis for an emergent discourse community that in part, constructs itself via the language of the DEP.

*Charles Taylor is a Candian pragmatist.
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