Relative to my last post, here is the book the essay noted came from and it looks like the entire book would be an interesting read. Although environmentalism isn’t an area I’ve spent much time with, it is a good example of where how we think and theorize has applicable and practical consequences within every area of knowledge or endeavor.
Here you can read several portions of the book. From the essay by Bruce V. Foltz, here are some interesting quotes:
The idea of a universe that is self subsistent—standing entirely on its own, fully operational and intelligible, independent of anything outside itself—is both odd and modern…It is today commonly taken to be one of the great achievements of Western Culture, paving the way for modern science and an enlightened understanding of nature in general. Environmentalists, too, pay tribute to this concept, feeling that it somehow honors nature to regard it as self-subsistent. But this essay shall maintain that it is instead one of the disastrous ideas of modernity, inimical to any salutary relation between humanity and natural environment.
It is indeed an “odd” and “modern” way of thinking and it is surprising how many people simply take it as a given or just “true.” This book was published in 2004, so it is good to see where we might be going, what people are talking about, and the direction that new ways of thinking might open up for future possibilities.
Look around, we do need to “rethink nature.” Clearly the modern, “scientific”, naturalistic way (which the market is happy to coerce and co-opt) has not led us to a healthy and harmonious relation between nature and humanity. We need a new way and the essays in this book seem to point toward a better way.