Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment

The Experience of Nature

  • Douglas A. Vakoch
  • Fernando Castrillón

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Fernando Castrillón
    Pages 1-8
  3. Phenomenologies of the Earth: Deepening Our Experience of Nature and its Alterity

  4. Phenomenology, Environment, and Ethics

  5. The Earth Unseen: Phenomenologies of Invisibility, Apocalypse, Death and the Unhuman

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-265

About this book


A significant step in the evolution of ecopsychology has been the field’s growing awareness of its long-standing affinity with phenomenology. Now, at a time when the natural world is viewed as somewhere between threatening, threatened, and invisible, an examination of the often implicit bond between these two spheres of inquiry makes increasing sense. 

Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment: The Experience of Nature explores the intersection of the two disciplines through a diverse group of ecological thinkers. Emphasizing the directly felt experience of the wild as opposed to overtly scientific approaches, this evocative volume presents fresh perspectives on the intimacy of nature, environmentally-related morals and ethics, and the realities engendered by climate change. With profound vision and lyrical elegance, contributors reveal the transformative power of the natural world and its expansive effects on our senses and consciousness. And perhaps most notably, these chapters challenge us as humans to revise how we understand ourselves in relation to the rest of nature. 

Included in the coverage:

  • The naturalist’s presence: toward a relational phenomenology of attention and meaning.
  • Aliveness and transformation in wilderness.
  • Apocalyptic imagination and the silence of the elements.
  • The who of environmental ethics: phenomenology and the moral self.
  • Climate chaos, ecopsychology, and the maturing human being.
  • Unhumanizing phenomenology to decode the language of Earth.

Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment: The Experience of Nature will find an engaged audience among ecopsychologists, environmental and conservation psychologists, and other psychologists and psychotherapists interested in environmental issues, as well as phenomenological psychologists. It will also appeal to environmental researchers working with psychological or phenomenological perspectives and philosophers concerned with environmental issues and ethics.


Contemporary environmental discourse Deconstructive phenomenology Direct experience of nature History of ecopsychology Lived experience of nature Maurice-Merlau Ponty Scientific naturalism Wilderness experience climate change conservation psychology contemplative psychology ecological imagination ecological self ecological thinking ecophenomenology ecopsychology ecotherapy environmental ethics environmental psychology mindfulness personal experience of nature phenomenological phenomenological psychology phenomenology psychological self terrapsychology transcendental phenomenology

Editors and affiliations

  • Douglas A. Vakoch
    • 1
  • Fernando Castrillón
    • 2
  1. 1.SETI Institute, Center for SETI Research California Institute of Integral StudiesMountain ViewUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Mental HealthCalifornia Institute of Integral StudiesSan FranciscoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-9618-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-9619-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site