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51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 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.
54. 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.”
55. 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.
56. 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.
57. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Vladimir Korotenko The Phenomenon of Ecological Consciousness: Theory and Interpretation
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A systematic approach to the description of phenomenon of environmental consciousness began to emerge in the second half of the ХХ century. An understanding strengthened by the widening environmental crisis had become a paradigmatic basis for this description. Its reasons lie in a dominant way of human techno-centrism, and it cannot be overcome without a change of this predominant worldview, universal and specific consciousness being a “psychological basis” of the ecological crisis. In a certain sense, the most appropriate reflection of the scheme of environmental consciousness will be the concept of semiotic fields or certain semiotic structures and specific symbolic series. These constructs are: Apocalyptic (predetermination of the end of history); the expansion of the human self-boundaries to the community and to the living in general; the value of life, regardless of its forms. One can say that environmental consciousness has a certain set of qualities, knowledge, symbolic means for addressing environmental situations, where the primary is the collision with environmental problems, and then there emerges a technical problem, aimed at resolving them in the space design of consciousness. However, when studying the phenomenon of environmental consciousness, some authors point out that the idea of environmental consciousness as a conceptual system can meet objections since the basis for the development of man’s relationship to nature lies in unconscious processes. Without denying the possibility of their participation, it must be emphasized that, in our interpretation, environmental consciousness is based on the knowledge gained from active and passive experience with the objects of the external world, situation analysis, and forecasts. Furthermore, exploring the phenomenon of environmental consciousness and its relationship with other mental phenomenon - unconscious, it is necessary to indicate the paradigmatic premise: the idea of multiplicity of events, that our lives can be at the same time turned in polysemantic (multi-character and multi-conceptual) space. Environmental consciousness can be seen as a very complex, self-regulating (i.e. having the ability to change the very purpose, functions and links) system, created to meet the challenges of establishing, stabilizing or changing relationship with nature and its objects that arise in the process of meeting man’s needs.
58. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
David R. Keller Political Economy as Foundation for Environmental Ethics
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In this paper, I argue that the subject of environmental ethics demands the critique of political economy: a political economy is always at the core of the human relationship to nonhuman nature. The elaboration of an ecological political economy is therefore a central task of Environmental Ethics. I make this argument in 4 stages. First, I argue that an “economy” is the interface of a social system (culture) and the biosphere. This interface is the political economy. Second, I argue for a principle of ontological interconnectedness between the human and the nonhuman. Third, I argue that since no human society exists without an economic fundament, the political economy is directly integrated to the ecology of the local. Here we have a standard for normativity: the consistency or inconsistency of a political economy with its ecological system provides a standard for normativity. Fourth, I conclude by asserting that the task of environmental ethics inexorably involves the critique of political economy. Environmental ethics concerns the human relationship to nonhuman nature. Because the fundament of the relationship of humans to nonhuman nature is economic, the subject of environmental ethics ultimately leads to a critique of the political economy in terms of the lessons of ecological science. Therefore, the goal of environmental ethics is the elaboration of ecological political economy.
59. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Ruth Miller Lucier Environmental Justice and Global Human Rights: Aspects of Self as Agency for Sustaining the Natural World
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This paper begins, in Part I, with a brief discussion of the “objective self” described in John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1971), and Michael J. Sandal’s criticism of it (in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, (Cambridge University Press, 1985) with the purpose of proposing a ‘thickening’ of the concept of Rawls’ “thin (or objective) self” that would make sense of moral obligations and commitments to global environmental stewardship. In part II, a ‘thicker self’ is envisioned as one that incorporates indigenous, earth nurturing, values as essential to its own identity, and that, hence, has properties that promote commitment to environmental preservation. Part III, sets forth the suggestion that philosophers need to construe the human self in a thicker, more environmentally friendly, way than Rawls’s thin self is construed—-namely, in a way that involves the respecting of the wisdom of earth-preserving peoples and cultures, thus allowing the concept self to include awareness of globally focused environmental justice responsibilities.
60. 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.