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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Nirmal Baid Jain Acceptance of Life in Nonhuman Entities as a Basis for Environmental Ethics
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Environmental ethics as a discipline deals with the morality of human actions and its consequences on the environment and its nonhuman elements. It addresses the question of whether there is a moral implication in harming the nonhuman contents of the environment, animate or inanimate. Jains identify with life being existent not only in humans and animals but also equally in earth, fire, air, water and vegetation. Life in these seemingly inanimate objects is considered at par with human or animal life form. Code of conduct for Jain householders and monks alike stipulates avoiding unnecessary harm to life including these inanimate life forms. When the entire world around us comes alive, this code of conduct helps create an abiding ethics that requires one to protect and pledge non-harming to all elements of the environment we live in.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Sandra Baquedano Jer The Axiologic Undertone of the Bio-diversity in East Wisdoms
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The Hindu worldview works on the principle that all mortals are usually found immersed within the illusion of Maya. This illusion encompasses the common essence which all living beings share, and in an illusory way, wraps the human being within his or her ‘self’, presenting this individuality as an absolute truth. That natural selfishness represents the main enemy which human beings have to struggle against, to remove and tear apart, in order to overcome the individual barriers which limit and master the ‘self’. In this presentation we will probe the Hindu society tradition and its mechanism to protect and care for diversity as substantial values. Moreover, we will examine prominent scholars and historical characters in the Indian and East culture who have actively manifested a philosophical activism during their lives. We will examine the importance of the precautions, related to the balance in the adaequatio between any increase in the number of the individuals that could be preserved indefinitely in an environment, and those who would cause an increasing damage to it.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Philip Cafaro Economic Growth or the Flourishing of Life: The Ethical Choice Global Climate Change Puts to Humanity in the 21st Century
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The phenomenon of global warming suggests that today’s dominant economic paradigm is bumping up against physical and biological limits. As will likely become ever clearer in coming decades, endlessly growing populations, consumption and economic activity are incompatible with human happiness, the flourishing of other species, and maintaining the basic ecosystem services on which these depend. The world’s peoples need to shift to an economic paradigm focused on providing sufficient resources for a limited number of people, rather than ever more resources for ever more people. For at least 2500 years, philosophers East and West, religious and secular, have claimed that wealth is not the key to happiness and that goodness is better than greatness. This talk argues that philosophers should redouble these efforts and join environmentalists in working to convince our societies to grow up and develop nobler, less materialistic, more sustainable goals and definitions of human flourishing as the necessary and the only alternative to trying to shoehorn a few more decades of economic growth into already overstressed ecological systems.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jianxia Cui The Analysis of Historical Dialectics on Marxist Ecological Thought
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Does Marxist philosophy and economics contain ecological thought? Does Marxist unified ontology amount to ecological thought? Whatever the answer, ecology was not the original intention of Marx. In Marx’s view, nature refers to objective nature, as the medium of subjective practice, and man is realistic man as the natural beings. Unification of the two sides makes clear the substantive characteristics of Marxist ecological thought - dual realization of humanism and naturalism - which in Marx is a principle thought. Probing this question, how to achieve the goal of dual realization in historical dialectics, is the mission of academic research.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jean Du Toit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as response to modernity’s nature-human dichotomy: A philosophical-critical study
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Modernity as a philosophical and intellectual movement has cultivated a perspective of humanity as separated from nature. In modernity, nature is valuable only insofar as it has instrumental value (i.e. that it may be utilized for the benefit of humanity). This paper postulates that such an approach to the nature-human relationship may have led to considerable environmental damage and misuse, and that the perspective of humanity as separate from nature should be re-evaluated. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s philosophy is investigated as a possible means to overcome this dichotomy. De Chardin describes varying ontologies that are embedded in the evolutionary process and against which all human relevance and action must be sketched. This differs from an evolutionistic approach, because whilst engaging with scientific discourse (which tends to be reductionist in approach), de Chardin also incorporates spiritual and religious ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, de Chardin’s ideas differ from vague pantheism because he engages with the terminology used in modern science and re-evaluates this terminology’s application and conclusions in relation to his newly developed cosmology (or cosmogenesis). Several questions are central in this paper: Firstly, could de Chardin’s approach be incorporated into the natural scientific discourse? Secondly, does de Chardin’s cosmology provide new avenues for investigation into a closer and more sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world?
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Magdalena Holy-Luczaj Ontological Egalitarianism as the Basis for Ecological Egalitarianism: A Heideggerian Rejection of the Great Chain of Being
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This paper presents a part of my research project, which is a comprehensive study of the relation between deep ecology and Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Its aim is to consider whether there is an actual coincidence between deep ecology and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger or whether it only appears so, on the basis of superficial coincidences and historical contingencies. The research that I have carried out to date strongly inclines me to state that deep ecology is largely justified to trace its philosophical heritage to Heidegger. Moreover, it seems that deep ecology does not take full advantage of the potential of Heidegger’s philosophy to lend support to its own foundational assumptions. In this paper I draw attention to the fact that deep ecology, concentrating on such issues as ethos related to the concept of “dwelling the Earth” or his critique of technology (from the latest work by Heidegger during the 1950’s), ignores his rejection of the concept of the “great chain of being” in works from the mid 1930’s, which perfectly corresponds with eco-egalitarianism and can be recognized as the theory of the “ontological egalitarianism.”
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Yanfeng Hu A Humble Opinion on the Relationship Between Humans and Nature
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The present ecological crisis reflects the alienation between humans and nature. The key to solve this problem is the correct understanding by humans of their position in nature. They should grasp correctly the relationship between humans and nature. For humans, nature is an object and also a subject. The fact that nature is subject or has subjectivity can be demonstrated at least in the following aspects: The natural world not only exists independently of humans or human consciousness, but also has its own operation mode; the creatures except human are not only passive objects, they all display the initiative in their behavior to defend their own interests; the natural world has taken retaliatory action on human activity that destroys natural circles and leads to interruption of material exchange and ecological metabolism. Nature has instrumental value and also the purposive value. The instrumental value of nature to humans is concretely reflected in meeting the demands of physical and spiritual life of humans, etc.; the purposive value of natural to human means keeping the relative stability in the operation of natural ecosystems in accord with the fundamental interests of human survival and development. The essence of the relationship between human and natural is the relationship between the natural world and himself. The natural world is the only homeland for humans. Humans should treat the natural world with an attitude that promotes harmony through rational utilization.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Zinaida Ivanova Towns and Settlements Compatible with the Biosphereas the Future of the Humankind
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The concept of the biosphere is a most valuable academic contribution made by V.I. Vernadsky, a Russian scholar, whose 150th anniversary will be celebrated in 2013. Acute deterioration of the condition of the environment, threats of the upcoming ecological crisis have caused the academic community to turn to V.I. Vernadsky’s ideas and to develop further the basic provisions of his theory. The present-day challenge is the rescue of the Biosphere and the introduction of growth limits. Towns and cities are the main sources of degradation of the biosphere. Therefore, there is a need to initiate the recovery of cities. This opinion is formulated by academic V.A. Ilyichev, leader of the program of fundamental research into ‘biosphere-compatible’ settlements and the development of Man. The program is implemented by the Russian Academy of Architectural and Construction Sciences. The core idea of the project consists in the integration of the settlement (from the farmstead to the megalopolis) and the environment aimed at the progressive harmonious development of people, technologies and the biosphere. I.A. Ilyichev has developed the basic principles of transformation of cities, making them compatible with the biosphere and capable of developing humans. The diagnosis “The Earth is sick with Man” is to be treated through the formation of a different philosophy.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Feng Jun Interrogation and Item: Philosophical Thinking on the Logic Level of “Man and Nature” Relationship
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Three are three dimensions in the logical framework of the relationship between man and nature, namely “dimension of awareness”, “dimension of desire” and “dimension of emotion”. But “dimension of awareness” and “dimension of desire” do not occupy a prominent position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” is destined to be in the highest position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” between man and nature refers to man’s ability for empathy, starting from the most vivid and direct experience of life in the heart, through expression towards the outside world and the establishment of a reply to itself. Then nature becomes “emotional things to feel”, leading to an ontology of “material and I blend” or “subject and object don’t distinguish”, leading to a direct identity relationship with nature.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Eleni Kavadia Ecocentrism and Identification: Cubism and Mixanthropoi in Avant-Garde Ecology
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In this essay I discuss ecocentrism and identification as a way to perceive nature presenting the view that identification with other centers of our oikos does not need to result in homogenization but allows one to discern equally identity and otherness, leading possibly to empathy. I maintain that, as a multiperspective point of view, resembles a cubist standpoint and I discuss some of the merits of such a connection besides being an aid to visualisation. I also refer to the mixanthropic forms, related mainly to the Dionysian thiasos, as examples of the process of identification with nature ante litteram. I also comment on the possible value of such connections as means of “defamiliarization”, a way to prevent “over-automatization” when faced with ecological issues, and as a defence against kitsch, seen in the attempt to identify the ecological movement with the “eco-market”, restricting its broader scope.