Human-Nature Relationship Model

  • Neil H. Kessler
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)


Modern theorists draw parallels between interhuman and human-nature relationships. This is evident in their use of relational terms like bonds, love, care, kinship and others. But, as mentioned in Chap. 2, even with this reliance upon such relational terms, modern human-nature relationship scholars build theories of closeness that are at odds with the reciprocity perceived in the closeness experience itself. Such modern theories relocate these powerful relational elements inside the human, where they are supposedly developed in isolation and only afterward projected outward onto a relationally limited, more-than-human partner. This collapsing of reciprocal closeness is attributable to human/nature dualisms that negate the capacity of the more-than-human to make relational contributions. As a means of better understanding how such human/nature dualisms operate, interdependence theory—a common theory of interhuman relationships focused on the exchange of thoughts and feelings—is adapted for use in the book’s exploration of human-nature relationships.


Interdependence theory Human-nature closeness Human/nature dualism Interhuman relational parallels Love of the environment Love of nature Closeness with nature Closeness with more-than-human beings 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil H. Kessler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and the EnvironmentUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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