John van Buren

Professor of Philosophy,
Director of the Environmental Studies Program
Collins Hall, Room 111


John Van Buren's doctoral work, completed in 1989, was at McMaster University in Canada and Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Germany.


John van Buren is Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Environmental Studies Program, and Advisor in the Architecture Program at Fordham University.

He is an internationally recognized expert in the thought of the German philosopher of nature 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 Interests

Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
Environmental Policy
Theories of Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
Philosophy of Martin Heidegger
20th and 21st Century European Philosophy

Selected Publications

The Environmental Origins of Western Philosophy: A New Historiography (In Preparation)

Greek Natural Philosophy: The Presocratics To Presentday Environmental Philosophy (Cognella Press)

Environmental Metaphysics: Rethinking the Doctrine of Categories In the Age of the Environment (In Preparation)

"Aristotle Luther Heidegger: A Forgotton Path of Thought. In Memorian Otto Poggeler," Existentia: International Journal of Philosophy XXVI

"Environmental Hermeneutics Deep in the Forest" in Clingerman et al, Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics (Fordham University Press)

"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 (SUNY Press)

Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in His Earliest Thought (SUNY Press)

Land Life Lumber Leisure: Local & Global Concern in the Human Use of Woodland, ed. with Anne Buttimer (Royal Society of Canada, University of Ottawa)

Professional Positions

Book Series Editor (with Baird Callicott), Environmental Philosophy and Ethics, SUNY Press
Board of Directors, International Association for Environmental Philosophy

PhD Dissertations Directed and Placements

Reembodying Original Ethics: A Response to the Levinasian Critique of Heidegger. Seamus Carey, Sacred Heart University

Heidegger’s Philosophy of Translation. (published as Translating Heidegger, Humanities Press, 2004). Miles Groth, Wagner College.

Transgressive Dasein: An Applied Ontology of Gender. (published as Phenomenal Gender, Indiana University Press, 2017). Das Janssen, Chicago State University

Heidegger’s Earliest Writings. Robert Vigliotti, Rockhurt University.

The Question Concerning Ecology: Heidegger's Appropriation of Aristotle On the Way to an Environmental Ethic. Craig Condella, Salve Regina University.

Heidegger and Social Identity: A Phenomenological Analysis of Judgements 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. (published as Naturalizing Heidegger, SUNY Press, 2015). David Storey, Fordham University.

Undergraduate Research Direction

Van Buren's undergraduate courses in philosophy and environmental studies 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 South Bronx, 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" defined as research that addresses contemporary issues by bringing together academic experts, community organizations, government, and business. List of undergraduate research projects directed.