Environmental Philosophy

Volume 14, Issue 2, Fall 2017

Henry DicksOrcid-ID
Pages 191-219

The Poetics of Biomimicry
The Contribution of Poetic Concepts to Philosophical Inquiry into the Biomimetic Principle of Nature as Model

The Ancient Greeks understood both art and technology (techne) as imitation (mimesis) of Nature (physis). This article argues that the rapidly growing ecological innovation strategy known as biomimicry makes it possible for technology to leave behind the modern goal of “mastering and possessing” Nature and instead to rediscover the initial vocation it shared with art: imitating Nature. This in turn suggests a general strategy for philosophical inquiry into the biomimetic principle of “Nature as model”: the transposition of philosophical analyses of concepts associated primarily with poetics and related fields—mimesis, mimicry, translation, analogy, metaphor, etc.—into the philosophy of biomimicry.