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Page history last edited by Martin Drenthen 4 years, 11 months ago

Martin Drenthen


Short CV
Martin Drenthen (1966) is associate professor of philosophy at the Institute for Science Innovation and Society (ISIS), Radboud University Nijmegen. He teaches (among other things) environmental and landscape ethics, philosophy of water management and bioethics. He is coordinator of the ISIS research line Visions of Nature (soon to be called: the ISIS Centre for Nature and Society).He is project leader of the vidi project “Reading the Landscape: A Hermeneutic Approach to Environmental Ethics.”

He is also involved as senior researcher in the international research project BIOMOT (MOTivational strength of ecosystem services and alternative ways to express the value of BIOdiversity).

Since early 2010, he is research coordinator ‘Landscape identity, history and sustainable development’ in Waalweelde Duurzaam (ISIS & the Province of Gelderland). He also works as senior researcher at the Center for Society and Genomics (also part of ISIS), working on a project about the societal prospects of ecogenomics

Martin got his PhD at the University of Nijmegen in 2003, on thesis on the significance of Nietzsches critique of morality for environmental ethics. In 2004, he worked as assistant professor in Environmental Philosophy at University of Antwerp (Belgium). Since 1998, he is Regional Representative (Western Europe/Netherlands) of the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE). From 1997 to 2000 he was executive secretary of the Research Group on Nature and Environmental Philosophy (cf. Coolen & Vander Wal (ed): Het eigen gewicht der dingen, 2002). From 2002 to 2005 he was program coordinator of Science & Society program at University of Nijmegen. From 1997 to 2006 he was (executive) editor of Filosofie & Praktijk [Journal of Dutch Association of Ethicists]. From 2005 to 2006 he was ethicist in the animal ethics commission of the University of Utrecht.


Areas of interest in environmental philosophy:
Martin Drenthen’s current research focuses on philosophy and ethics of landscape, notably on thenotion of ‘landscape legibility’ and on the relation between new developments in landscape ecology and management (ecosystem-based water management, ecological restoration, the rise of ecogenomics), cultural environmental identity and ethics of place. Local residents often complain that new nature tends to reduce the 'legibility' the land: disturbing the legibility of the landscape of and threatening people’s sense of place and place identity. In contrast, restorationists claim that ecological restoration can reveal deeper 'textual' layers, implying that humans should deepen their sense of place and widen the context in which they understand themselves. Can these contrasting views be integrated into an ethic of the legible palimpsest landscape? Can cultural landscapes and new nature co-exist? How can scientific knowledge inform our culturally embedded relation to place and help develop more sustainable landscapes management practices?



In summer 2012, Martin has been awarded a VIDI Innovation Research Incentive Grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

for his 5-year project “Reading the Landscape: A Hermeneutic Approach to Environmental Ethics.”

The purpose of the grant is to examine how philosophical hermeneutics can contribute to environmental ethics, and to test the usefulness of the hermeneutic perspective in environmental ethics in the evaluation ecological restoration projects.  Martin will put together a four-person team to test a theoretical framework he develops based on the study of seminal works in philosophical hermeneutics.  A postdoctoral project will critically reflect on existing legitimization strategies by conservationists and restorationists, and explicate, articulate and examine the implicit moral narratives about the human-nature relationship which motivate actual restoration projects today.  Two PhD projects will study concrete cases of conflicting landscape interpretations.  The first will focus on conflicts about “rewilding” projects, where natural processes and entities are deliberately introduced in cultural landscapes.  It will examine existing attempts to recognize the importance of elements of heritage landscapes for identity in the design of ecological restoration projects, and explicate and articulate normative motives at play.  The second project will examine how spontaneous natural developments can challenge perceived notions of identity by addressing controversial cases where the recurrence of predators and other “inconvenient” species is perceived by some as threat or nuisance, and welcomed by others who consider them as to “belong” in a certain place.  All projects will explicate and articulate existing underlying moral experiences that can explain the relation between landscape interpretations and notions of self between conflicting parties, with the aim of broadening the perspective and deepening the moral debate about the landscape.

To learn more about Martin’s work please visit his website at  http://home.xmsnet.nl/drenthen/.


Keywords: Environmental hermeneutics, Landscape philosophy; Ethics of place, Ecological restoration; Place identity, Legible landscape.


For a list of publications, see: http://radboud.academia.edu/MartinDrenthen and http://www.docenten.science.ru.nl/drenthen/publicaties-en.html 

Contact details:
Dr. Martin Drenthen,

Institute for Science, Innovation & Society

Mailbox number 77

Faculty of Science

Radboud University Nijmegen

POBox 9010

6500 GL Nijmegen

Tel: +31-24-3652730 (office)

e-mail: M.Drenthen@science.ru.nl 


Personal home page: http://www.docenten.science.ru.nl/drenthen/

Academia website: http://radboud.academia.edu/MartinDrenthen

Blog: http://environmentalhermeneutics.blogspot.com/

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