He is an internationally recognized expert in the thought of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, 20th & 21st century European philosophy, and contemporary environmental philosophy & ethics. He is currently working on questions of the interface of hermeneutics and environmental history, environmental justice, climate change ethics, and theories of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.
His doctoral work, completed in 1989, was at McMaster University in Canada and Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Germany. He was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa in 1989-90, also completing a postdoctoral fellowship there in environmental studies in the Geography Department in 1990-91. He joined the Fordham philosophy department in 1991. He has served as the founding Director of the Fordham University Environmental Studies Program since 2001. He served as Associate Director of Urban Studies in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
Research & Teaching
Environmental Philosophy & Ethics
Theories of Interdisciplinarity & Transdisciplinarity
Philosophy of Martin Heidegger
20th & 21st Century European Philosophy
Environmental Hermeneutics: From Policy to Ontology and Back Again (In Preparation)
"Environmental Hermeneutics Deep in the Forest" in Clingerman et al, Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics (Fordham University Press, 2012)
"Critical Environmental Hermeneutics,"
Environmental Ethics, vol. 17
The Young Heidegger: Rumor of the Hidden King
(Indiana University Press)
Ontology—The Hermeneutics of Facticity
(Indiana University Press)
Supplements: From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond
Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought
Environmental Education and Campus Greening
Land Life Lumber Leisure: Local & Global Concern in the Human Use of Woodland, ed. with Anne Buttimer (Royal Society of Canada, University of Ottawa, 1991)
Fordham University Proposal for Environmental Studies Program
(Lead Author, Approved 2001)
Fordham University Proposal for Environmental Policy Program
(Lead Author, Approved 2009
Book Series Editor (with Baird Callicott), Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
, SUNY Press
Board of Directors, International Association for Environmental Philosophy
Ph.D Dissertations Directed & Placements
Reembodying Original Ethics: A Response to the Levinasian Critique of Heidegger. Seamus Carey, Sacred Heart University
Heidegger’s Philosophy of Translation
. Miles Groth
, Wagner College
Transgressive Dasein: An Applied Ontology of Gender
, Chicago State University
Heidegger’s Earliest Writings
. Robert Vigliotti,
The Question Concerning Ecology: Heidegger's Appropriation of Aristotle On the Way to an Environmental Ethic
. Craig Condella, Salv
e Regina University
Heidegger and Social Identity: A Phenomenological Analysis of Judgments of Cultural Identity and Difference
. David Zoller
, California Polytechnic State University
Nature, Nihilism and Life in Heidegger and Nietzsche: Naturalistic Metaphysical Foundations For Environmental Ethics
. Forthcoming as Naturalizing Heidegger For Environmental Philosophy (SUNY Press, 2013). David Storey
, Fordham University.
Undergraduate Research Direction
Van Buren's undergraduate courses in philosophy and environmental policy work with urban ecology and environmental justice organizations such as the New York Botanical Garden, Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoological Park),American Museum of Natural History, Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities, Bronx River Alliance (NY City Dept. of Parks), Sustainable SouthBronx, and Nature Network: NY-NJ-CT to provide students with internships, community service learning experiences, and hands-on professional education and training. These courses incorporate "interdisciplinarity," as well as "transdisciplinarity," which is defined as interdisciplinary research and education that addresses contemporary issues by bringing together academic experts, community organizations, government, and business. An Undergraduate Research page listing internship, community service, independent research and thesis papers directed by van Buren is maintained on the Environmental Policy program website.
His wife Eileen teaches philosophy at Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies. His daughter Keely attends the Ursuline School and studies classical piano, saxophone, and guitar. They spend summers at their other home in British Columbia, participating in a local community and government initiative to designate Wells Gray Park as a United Nations World Heritage site.