Keywords: hermeneutic interpretation, Gaia theory, environmental ethics, holistic science, earth science, meaning, ambiguity, wholeness, mechanistic science, reductionism
We comprehend that which comprehends us: an exploration of hermeneutic Gaia
Gaia Theory recognises the tightly-coupled system of life and its environment from which emerges the self regulation of the living Earth. The fledgling science of the hermeneutic Earth reinterprets these cyclical relations of life and the environment as meaningful expressions of our living, self-interpreting, self creating Earth. This hermeneutic interpretation of Gaia Theory explores the meaningful wholeness of the living Earth, a wholeness that arises in the coherent relations of its constituent parts. Practicing a science of the hermeneutic Gaia offers a novel understanding of the potential field of ethical interaction with the living Earth. Qualities such as meaning and agency, once accepted as peculiarly human and thereby privileging human moral status, are now integral to the science of a language-based Earth.