The global ecological crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever had to confront, and humanity is failing. The triumph of the neo-liberal agenda, together with a debauched ‘scientism’, has reduced nature and people to nothing but raw materials, instruments and consumers to be efficiently managed in a global market dominated by corporate managers, media moguls and technocrats. The arts and the humanities have been devalued, genuine science has been crippled, and the quest for autonomy and democracy undermined. The resultant trajectory towards global ecological destruction appears inexorable, and neither governments nor environmental movements have significantly altered this, or indeed, seem able to. The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilization is a wide-ranging and scholarly analysis of this failure. This book reframes the dynamics of the debate beyond the discourses of economics, politics and techno-science. Reviving natural philosophy to align science with the humanities, it offers the categories required to reform our modes of existence and our institutions so that we augment, rather than undermine, the life of the ecosystems of which we are part. From this philosophical foundation, the author puts forth a manifesto for transforming our culture into one which could provide an effective global environmental movement and provide the foundations for a global ecological civilization.
Critical Theory, Moral Authority, and Radicalism in the Anthropocene
Author: Andy Scerri
Publisher: SUNY Press
Category: Climatic changes
Explores why past generations of radical ecological and social justice scholarship have been ineffective, and considers the work of a new wave of scholarship that aims to reinvent the radical project and combat injustice. In Postpolitics and the Limits of Nature, Andy Scerri offers a comprehensive overview of the critical theory project from the 1960s to the present, refracted through the lens of US politics and the American Left. He examines why past generations of radical ecological and social justice scholarship have been ineffective in the fight against injustice and rampant environmental exploitation. Scerri then engages a new wave of radicals and reformists who, in the wake of the Occupy movement and the 2016 presidential election, are reinventing the radical project as a challenge to injustice in the Anthropocene era. Along the way, he provides a fresh account of the thought of one of the major contributors to critical theory, Theodor Adorno, and of recent work that seeks to link Adorno’s ideas to the so-called new realism in political philosophy and political theory. “This book is something like an histoire événementielle of contending philosophies of nature and the natural in relation to economy and politics over the past 60-odd years. What is impressive is the way Scerri situates the many different activists/scholars and views in the transition from Keynesian regulatory society to naturalized neoliberalism. Thus, authors are treated not as timeless purveyors of theory but, rather, as political economists rooted in the trends and currents of their particular time. I believe this will be an important book.” — Ronnie D. Lipschutz, coauthor of Environmental Politics for a Changing World: Power, Perspectives, and Practice, Second Edition
Process thought is an important component of contemporary philosophy. Alfred North Whitehead’s organic philosophy has a special place in the landscape of process thinking, being detailed, precise and well-thought, and at the same time extremely visionary and far-reaching. The global community of process thinkers includes physicists, biologists, doctors, political scientists, educators, activists, philosophers, theologians and other people devoted to rethinking their disciplines in the light of process philosophy. This volume presents the cutting edge in the creation of a process worldview. Leading scholars from all over the world gathered to discuss how process thinking can inspire us to rethink our lives. Precise philosophical language and a unifying vision are applied to core issues, such as politics, society, education and religion. The book represents a bold move from academic philosophy into the realm of actual human lives.
Beginning with a retrospective of the past century, this book offers a panoramic picture of Chinese comparative literature, from its nascence in the early 1920s, through its evolution in the 1980s, to the new development at the turn of the century, ending with a prospective look at the future of comparative literature in the 21st century. The articles presented here reveal the author’s deep understandings of the literature and culture of her own country and those of other countries. A rich array of case studies and in-depth theorizing make it an extremely interesting and enlightening read. Prof. Daiyun Yue is a prominent professor at Peking University and a leading figure in Chinese comparative literature. She has served as Head of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, PKU (1984—1998) and the third president of the Chinese Comparative Literature Association (1989—2014). Further, she is the founder of Dialogue Transculturel, a much-acclaimed journal of comparative literature. Prof. Yue approaches outstanding literature as a bridge to link people of different cultural traditions: “The reason why interdisciplinary literary research between two alien cultures is possible is because dialog between alien cultures, along with exchange and understanding, is more readily realized through literature.” Herein lies the value of comparative literature.
Le réseau « Chromatiques whiteheadiennes » a pour objectif premier de fédérer les recherches sur les différents aspects, nuances et implications de la pensée du philosophe et algébriste britannique Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947). C'est dans ce cadre qu'ont été créés en 2002 à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne des séminaires de recherche sur la philosophie organique whiteheadienne. L' Annuaire de la philosophie en procès publie les principaux résultats de ces travaux et offre complémentairement des études critiques et des comptes rendus récents dans les domaines whiteheadiens et connexes.
Whitehead had a place for God in his comprehensive cosmological vision, and his theism has long attracted interest from some Christian theologians. But Whitehead's ideas have much wider use. Some Buddhists have found help in articulating their nontheistic vision and relating it to the current world of thought and action. In this book religious writers in seven different traditions articulate how they can benefit from Whitehead's work. So this volume demonstrates that various features of his thought can contribute to many communities. According to his followers, Whitehead shows that the deepest convictions and commitments of the major religious communities can be complementary rather than in conflict. Readers of this book will see how that plays out in some detail. A Whiteheadian Hindu can recognize the truth in a Whiteheadian Judaism, and both can appreciate the insights of Chinese Whiteheadians committed to their classical thinking. Perhaps a new day in interreligious understanding has come.
Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis is the only book to combine cultural theory and environmental philosophy. In it, Arran Gare analyses the conjunction between the environmental crisis, the globalisation of capitalism and the disintegration of the culture of modernity. It explains the paradox of growing concern for the environment and the paltry achievements of environmental movements. Through a critique of the philosophies underlying approaches to the environmental crisis, Arran Gare puts forward his own, controversial theory of a new postmodern world view. This would be the foundation for the environmental movement to succeed. Arran Gare's work will be a vital reading for advanced students of environmental studies, as well as for environmental philosophers and cultural theorists.
Ecologists use a remarkable range of methods and techniques to understand complex, inherently variable, and functionally diverse entities and processes across a staggering range of spatial, temporal and interactive scales. These multiple perspectives make ecology very different to the exemplar of science often presented by philosophers. In Philosophical Foundations for the Practices of Ecology, designed for graduate students and researchers, ecology is put into a new philosophical framework that engages with this inherent pluralism while still placing constraints on the ways that we can investigate and understand nature. The authors begin by exploring the sources of variety in the practice of ecology and how these have led to the current conceptual confusion. They argue that the solution is to adopt the approach of constrained perspectivism and go on to explore the ontological, metaphysical, and epistemological aspects of this position and how it can be used in ecological research and teaching.
Dean of Claremont School of Theology Philip Clayton
An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe
Author: Dean of Claremont School of Theology Philip Clayton
This revolutionary book fuses the enduring legacy of socialism-government for the common good-with the best of the environmental movement and the newest insights from sustainability studies. The result is a manifesto in the tradition of Bill McKibben's Eaarth-a roadmap forward in the face of the growing environmental catastrophe, which is the most complex crisis humanity has ever faced. Catherine Keller writes, "What an unexpected, discomforting and important work! If Marxism seemed to be abandoned in the West to a few academic leftists and nostalgic activists, the authors bring it roaring back into relevance." American conservatives like to say that Marxism was destroyed by its opponents and by the mistakes of Marxist governments. Organic Marxism provides the definitive answer to this charge. New economic evidence reveals that Marx's predictions are coming true in ways once thought impossible. Today the wealthiest class, the richest 1%, possesses more wealth and power than ever before, whereas the 99% are slipping economically, and the majority of humans live in increasing poverty. Above all else, the global environmental crisis changes everything. Clayton and Heinzekehr show how, over the last decades, rich individuals and multinational corporations have acted selfishly to increase their own wealth-with devastating ecological consequences. The data make it clear that the planet has reached the limits of its capacity. The authors trace the unimaginable environmental and social consequences that (scientists tell us) global warming will bring: mass extinctions, food and water shortages, violent weather, rising oceans. Why then do our governments continue to favor the wealthy? Why do they take no action ... or actually worsen the situation? Organic Marxism shows why the situation is not hopeless, however. The vast majority of humans favor sustainable systems and lifestyles. With this growing support, it's possible to begin laying the foundations for a new, ecological civilization on this planet. In these pages Clayton and Heinzekehr lay out the steps toward a fair and sustainable society, one run not in the interests of the rich but for the common good. This "fresh, energetic, and revolutionary manifesto" (Santiago Slabodsky) takes its leads from the core insights of Karl Marx, from process philosophers in China (Taoism) and in the West (Alfred North Whitehead), from ecology, and from the organic practices of sustainable communities. This "postmodern Marxism," the authors argue, is not deterministic and utopian. It allows for market forces while limiting corruption and excessive profit-taking by the wealthy. In the end, localized systems of production and trade, steeped in the cultural traditions of a given people, are far more sustainable and life-affirming than a globalized economy run by the richest banks and multinational corporations. The book is a call to action. We can no longer sit by passively and allow unlimited consumption by the wealthy when it means that there will be nothing left for our grandchildren. Without a planetary crisis, the rich would remain in power. As we approach the planet's limits, however, there is no other option but to shift to an organic, ecological civilization. Clayton and Heinzekehr show how scientists and economists, farmers and small business people, artists and religious leaders are coming together around the globe, building communities for the common good.