Phone: (303) 492-5784
Office: Hellems 286
Information: Faculty Page
Curriculum Vitae: zimmcv.pdf
MICHAEL E. ZIMMERMAN (PhD, Tulane, 1974) is Professor of Philosophy and former Director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts at CU Boulder. Since his undergraduate years, Michael has been concerned about anthropogenic environmental problems. His research examines the metaphysical, cultural, ethical, cognitive, political, and religious dimensions of such problems.
Like many others in the field of environmental studies, Michael maintains that a multi-disciplinary approach is needed both to comprehend and to propose effective solutions for environmental problems. Natural science is crucial for characterizing, making predictions about, and providing alternative scenarios regarding existing and emerging environmental problems. Anthropogenic environmental problems, however, arise from human activities that are usually best studied by researchers from the social sciences, humanities, and the arts.
Although criticizing the command-and-control attitude toward nature that has characterized modernity, Michael has also warned of the dangers posed by the anti-modernist attitudes that characterize some versions of environmentalism. Michael asks: How to retain what is noble about modernity, including the freedoms connected with politics, research, and religion, while correcting its shortcomings, including serious environmental problems?
In what has been called “post-normal” science, researchers must not only deal with problems characterized by complexity and thus uncertainty, but must also integrate multiple perspectives, many of which operate at different scales, with different assumptions, and in light of different value concerns. Environmental policy formation will become increasingly effective as it develops the conceptual models needed to identify crucial methods and perspectives and to show their relationships to one another, as well as to specific problems.
Working with Ken Wilber and Sean-Esbjörn Hargens, Michael is helping to develop and apply one such integrative model to anthropogenic environmental problems. This model is presented in Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World (2007), co-authored with Hargens.
For more information, see Michael's CV.
- “Nietzsche and Ecology: A Skeptical Look,” to appear in Reading Nietzsche at the Margins, eds. Steven V. Hicks and Alan Rosenberg (Purdue University Press, 2007).
- “Deep Ecology” (with Bron Taylor), The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, ed. Bron Taylor (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005), 456-460.
- “Martin Heidegger,” The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, ed. Bron Taylor (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005), 759-761.
- “Ken Wilber,” The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, ed. Bron Taylor (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005), 1743-1745.
- “Ecofascism,” The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, ed. Bron Taylor (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005), 531-532.
- “Integral Ecology: A Perspectival, Developmental, and Coordinating Approach to Environmental Problems,” World Futures, special issue on Integral Ecology, ed. Sean Hargens, Vol. 61, 1-2 (January-March, 2005), 50-62.
- “What Can Continental Philosophy Contribute to Environmentalism?” in Rethinking Nature: Essays in Environmental Philosophy, ed. Bruce V. Foltz and Robert Frodeman (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), 207-230.
- “Ecofascism: An Enduring Temptation,” Environmental Philosophy, fourth edition, ed. Michael Zimmerman, et al., (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004), 390-408.
- “Architectural Ethics, Multiculturalism, and Globalization,” Professional Ethics 11 (2003): 1-14; also to appear in Inverting the Iceberg, ed. Graham Owen (Spon Press, a division of Routledge).
- “On Reconciling Progressivism and Environmentalism,” Explorations in Environmental Political Theory, ed. Joel J. Kassiola (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2003), 149-177.
- “Encountering Alien Otherness,” The Concept of the Foreign, ed. Rebecca Saunders (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2002), 153-177.
- "Heidegger's Phenomenology and Contemporary Environmentalism," in Eco-Phenomenology: Back to the Earth Itself, ed. Ted Toadvine (SUNY Pres Series in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, 2002), 73-101.
- “The End of Authenticity in the Postmodern Age?” in Heidegger, Authenticity and Modernity: Essays in Honor of Hubert L. Dreyfus, Volume One, ed. Jeff Malpas and Mark Wrathall (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001).
- "A Strategic Direction for 21st Century Environmentalism: Free Market Environmentalism," Strategies: Journal of Theory, Culture, and Politics, Vol. 13, No. 1 (May, 2000), 89-110.