•  248
    Head in the Clouds
    Environment, Space, Place 2 (1): 147-184. 2010.
    The sky proclaimed Emerson is “the daily bread of the eyes.” Despite the apparent truth of this observation, we often fail to appreciate the complex canopy of air above and around us in considerations of environmental aesthetics and ecological awareness. I examine the sky and aerial phenomena that are bound to, closely allied with, or materially emergent from, this ocean of blue. In the process, I develop a perspective for thinking about some of the aesthetic characteristics and dimensions of th…Read more
  •  48
    I examine the ancient and perennial notion of the elements (stoicheia) and its relation to an idea of place proper (topos) and natural place (topos oikeios) in Aristotle's work. Through an exploration of his accounts, I argue that Aristotle develops a robust theory of place that is relevant to current environmental and geographical thought. In the process, he provides a domestic household and home for earth, air, fire and water that offers a supplement or an alternative to more abstract and cont…Read more
  •  40
    Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology (edited book)
    Guilford Press. 1996.
    Philosophers, Henri Bergson once observed, "seem to philosophize as if they were sealed in the privacy of their study and did not live on a planet surrounded by the vast organic world of animals, plants, insects, and protozoa." Providing a solid overview of ecological philosophy and original insights into this developing field, Minding Nature focuses on some of the most influential thinkers who, in fact, have emphasized our natural relations to the earth, our social creations, and each other. Co…Read more
  •  35
    Night and Shadows
    Environment, Space, Place 1 (2): 51-76. 2009.
    I examine the kindred phenomena of shadows and night in order to reveal their significance for better understanding our lifeworld and the elemental environment. I first describe how light is primary to ecological perception and how it conditions our conceptions of space, truth, and beauty. Light and darkness are involved in a dialectical relationship rather than conceived as polar opposites. Borne of the interplay of both realms, shadows have been disparaged historically and deserve to be recons…Read more
  •  28
    _Explores the ancient and perennial notion of the four elements as environmental ideas._
  •  24
    The fate of place: A philosophical history
    Environmental Ethics 22 (2): 219-221. 2000.
  •  23
    The domestication of water: filtering nature through technology
    Essays in Philosophy 6 (1): 23. 2005.
    This paper examines some of the key ways in which water is mediated by technology and human artifacts. I show how the modes in which we conceive and experience this vital fluid are affected deeply by the techniques and instruments we use to interact with it. I argue that a notion of the domestication of water enables us to better grasp our relations with the environment given that vast volumes of water are now neither completely natural nor artificial in the conventional senses of the terms. Ins…Read more
  •  9
    Chance
    Between the Species 2 (3): 8. 1986.
  • Transformations of Urban and Suburban Landscapes: Perspectives From Philosophy, Geography, and Architecture (edited book)
    with Ruth Connell, Francis Conroy, Mary A. Hague, James Hatley, John A. Scott, Derek Shanahan, and Nancy Siegel
    Lexington Books. 2002.
    The study of landscape and place has become an increasingly fertile realm of inquiry in the humanities and social sciences. In this new book of essays, selected from presentations at the first annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Geography, scholars investigate the experiences and meanings that inscribe urban and suburban landscapes. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi bring philosophy and geography into a dialogue with a host of other disciplines to explore a fundamental dialectic: while…Read more
  • Head in the Clouds: On the Beauty of the Aerial World
    Environment, Space, Place 2 (1): 147-184. 2010.
    The sky proclaimed Emerson is “the daily bread of the eyes.” Despite the apparent truth of this observation, we often fail to appreciate the complex canopy of air above and around us in considerations of environmental aesthetics and ecological awareness. I examine the sky and aerial phenomena that are bound to, closely allied with, or materially emergent from, this ocean of blue. In the process, I develop a perspective for thinking about some of the aesthetic characteristics and dimensions of th…Read more
  • Walking the City
    In Arnold Berleant & Allen Carlson (eds.), The Aesthetics of Human Environments, Broadview Press. pp. 100--118. 2007.
  • The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History (review)
    Environmental Ethics 22 (2): 219-221. 2000.