Heidegger uses Earth to signify the absent dimension that is a stemming from. The earth signifies a bringing forth of oneself or something produced. Earth is the absent instantiation as something at all. Earth is intentional veilance. There is a rift between earth and world. The rift articulates the field of human existence. It "draws the basic features of the rise of the lighting of beings. This rift does not let the opponents break apart; it brings what opposes measure and limit in the unitary outline" (OWA, p. 51/189). The earth dimension is individual interiority. It is the purely experiential aspect of human being. Phenomenology is the disclipline that studies this interior. It explores direct experience. It is the subsisting individual being. To unearth something means to take its measure or at least to discover or reveal it. Phenomenology would be appropriate methodologically if I were analyzing my own experience of a wild place. However, I'm interested in the collective perceptions of wild places so I need methods that analyze collective interiors.
For this reason, the lower left quadrant is the domain of my inquiry. The terrain of cultures forms the basis for my methodological work. I need a method that investigates the as structure of mortals to indicate the articulation of the world-earth tension at a community scale. "The cultural terrain includes the shared horizons (e.g. morals, symbol systems, meaning, affect, experience) that exist between and across humans and nonhumans" (IE, p. 184). Following Peirce, culture develops in waves as habits. I will examine the ways worldviews and value systems encourage, discourage, or are neutral about landscape conservation. The intent is to understand the different values that motivate or discourage landscape practices.
The terrain of culture includes human communication and the exchange of meaning between humans and other beings. "Different types of nondiscursive cultural structures or habitus (Bordieu) with which an organism approaches the environment determines the kinds of practices they use to enact the environment" (IE, p. 184). To investigate the terrain of culture is to examine the intersubjective spaces of shared meaning and mutual resonance. This means studying the perspectives that shape how people experience the landscape and instantiate relationships within their ecosystem. This is where I connect to sense of place studies that interpret how people co-constitute the meaning of their geographic localities.
Questions: What are the community values and perceptions of the landscape? How can we accommodate different values in engaging the landscape? How might constituents become motivated to take short- and long-term responsibility for taking care of the landscape?