Dōgen, Deep Ecology, and the Ecological Self

Curtin, Deane
Environmental Ethics Vol. 16/2 (1994), pages 195-213

A core project for deep ecologists is the reformulation of the concept of self. In searching for a more inclusive understanding of self, deep ecologists often look to Buddhist philosophy, and to the Japanese Buddhist philosopher Doμgen in particular, for inspiration. I argue that, while Doμgen does share a nondualist, nonanthropocentric framework with deep ecology, his phenomenology of the self is fundamentally at odds with the expanded Self found in the deep ecology literature. I suggest, though I do not fully argue for it, that Doμgen’s account of the self is more sympathetic to one version of ecofeminism than to deep ecology.