Rethinking the Heidegger-Deep Ecology Relationship

Zimmerman, Michael E.
Environmental Ethics Vol. 15/3 (1993), pages 195-224

Recent disclosures regarding the relationship between Heidegger’s thought and his own version of National Socialism have led me to rethink my earlier efforts to portray Heidegger as a forerunner of deep ecology. His political problems have provided ammunition for critics, such as Murray Bookchin, who regard deep ecology as a reactionary movement. In this essay, I argue that, despite some similarities, Heidegger’s thought and deep ecology are in many ways incompatible, in part because deep ecologists—in spite of their criticism of the ecologically destructive character of technological modernity—generally support a “progressive” idea of human evolution.