Evaluating Heidegger's ethos of releasement as a response to the environmental crisis

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Advisor

Noelle Leslie G. dela Cruz

Defense Panel Chair

Robert James M. Boyles

Defense Panel Member

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao, Jr.
Jeane C. Peracullo


This thesis aims to show that Heidegger’s phenomenological analysis of human existence and his reflections on the essence of technology can serve as another foundation for a new approach to an environmental ethics. On the one hand, Heidegger is endorsed as an environmental thinker, investigating Heidegger’s views on technology by going through his key concepts of Gestell and Gelassenheit, Dasein, theory of stewardship, meditative thinking and poetic dwelling towards a new kind of environmental concern in the midst of technological culture. The question whether a Heideggerian perspective prepares us a way out from a technological, scientific and manipulated view on nature, which also confined human being by the technological, “enframing”, is warranted. On the other, some of his analysis of technology are misinterpreted, some scholars contend that Heidegger’s ideas on technology can be found in an ecological view and that, his technological view is incompatible for an environmental framework. Heidegger’s analysis of technology includes a lack of understanding of the essence of technology which controls us in a dangerous situation that may direct to calamity. Heidegger’s assertion towards thinking can be seen as a remedy to ecological crisis.

Central to Heidegger for example is an investigation of metaphysical foundations of modern science and technology and an immanent critique about their danger and saving power, trying to release Dasein from the traps of technological culture. For Heidegger, the saving power through the concept of releasement demonstrates that an authentic understanding of human existence necessarily entails a new approach to dwell meaningfully in a technological and scientific world. Heidegger affirms the necessity and significance of returning to the path of thinking to restrain humanity’s relentless drive for objectification and manipulation. Thus, the thesis demonstrates that only through a meaningful meditative thinking, which is in total contrast to the calculative thinking, that Dasein develops the disposition necessary for a possible releasement from enframing. Heidegger’s analyses on the understanding of being as phusis together with his notion of poetic dwelling could provide a new perspective that allows for an authentic human existence. His revelation of human existence as Dasein postulates a new picture from which to approach questions of technological dominance and possible approaches to climate change towards a new attitude to environmental philosophy.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

151 leaves


Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976; Technology; Ecology; Environmental ethics

Upload Full Text


Embargo Period


This document is currently not available here.