Alienation and Environmental Philosophy by Simon Hailwood

By Simon Hailwood

Many environmental scientists, students and activists characterise our state of affairs as one in every of alienation from nature, yet this thought can simply look meaningless or irrational. during this e-book, Simon Hailwood seriously analyses the assumption of alienation from nature and argues that it may be an invaluable inspiration whilst understood pluralistically. He distinguishes diversified senses of alienation from nature touching on diverse environmental contexts and issues, and attracts upon various philosophical and environmental rules and subject matters together with pragmatism, eco-phenomenology, weather switch, ecological justice, Marxism and important thought. His novel viewpoint indicates that diverse environmental matters - either anthropocentric either anthropocentric and nonanthropocentric - can dovetail, instead of compete with, one another, and that our alienation from nature needn't be anything to be regretted or triumph over. His ebook will curiosity a extensive readership in environmental philosophy and ethics, political philosophy, geography and environmental stories.

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The picture need not be so metaphysical. We might prefer, say, Adam Smith’s more ‘naturalistic’ account of humanity’s ‘propensity to truck, barter and exchange’. Social conditions that thwart this propensity might then be viewed as an ‘unnatural’ departure (estrangement) from our essential human nature. Put just like this the claim does not have the wider connotations concerning nonhuman nature and the natural world. But these can be added through understandings of evolutionary processes as inherently competitive, perhaps driven ultimately by the egoistic imperatives of ‘selfish genes’.

Consequently, overcoming estrangement from the humanized world and the natural world rely upon each other as part of a project to overcome pernicious forms of estrangement from nature. At least they do so in our actual, precarious environmental situation. Nevertheless, if I’m right, that same project requires qualifying the quest to be fully at ‘home in the world’ in that it requires some estrangement and alienation from and of the nonhuman. Again, my overall argument for a pluralistic understanding of alienation from nature is that it allows us to see such relations between environmental concerns, most importantly between those that are anthropocentric and those that are nonanthropocentric.

This is the main topic of Chapter 5. 6 Estrangement is not always to be overcome: Bìro and Evernden This emphasis on the thought that in some of its senses alienation from nature should be viewed positively is a key element in the position 4 I have mentioned already that some of the doctrines associated with deep ecology seem less than ideal as tools for dealing with the environmental crisis: very strong forms of holism and versions of the idea of ‘identification with nature’ risk eclipsing the otherness of nonhuman nature.

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