All That We Are: Philosophical Anthropology and Ecophilosophy (Report) - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

All That We Are: Philosophical Anthropology and Ecophilosophy (Report)

By Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-01-01
  • Book Genre: Religion & Spirituality
  • Author: Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy
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All That We Are: Philosophical Anthropology and Ecophilosophy (Report) Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy read online review & book description:

1. ECOPHILOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Voicing a view that has become common among environmentalists, Arran Gare argues in a recent essay that 'philosophical anthropology is central to ethics and politics' and that a genuine philosophical anthropology 'can orient people in their struggle for the liberty to avert a global ecological catastrophe.' (2) The ecosocialist Joel Kovel has argued that 'the notion of human nature is necessary for any in-depth appreciation of the ecological crisis, and its lack is a sign of the crisis itself.' (3) Ecoliteracy educator David Orr states that '[w]hatever a sustainable society may be, it must be built on the most realistic view of the human condition possible.' (4) Other radical ecophilosophers as diverse as Arne Naess, Murray Bookchin, and Val Plumwood have consistently held that new views of human nature are vital to reinforcing the ecologically-informed conception, perception, and evaluation of nature that is called for in environmentalism. (5) This is only a small sample of the many authors who suggest that a renewed, critical reflection on human being, or philosophical anthropology, is called for not only in order to motivate an effective ecological ethics and politics, but also to combat reductivist and dualist approaches to human being. The challenge today is to combine the anti-essentialist critical resources of post-Kantian constructivism with a naturalist's appreciation of biophysical reality. (6) What follows is an initial attempt to adequately characterize the problem and to suggest directions for a solution. Many thinkers concerned with this problem today consider themselves 'naturalists.' We should begin, then, by asking what kind of naturalism best motivates ecological consciousness.

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