Environmental Philosophy

Volume 17, Issue 2, Fall 2020

Lucy Schultz
Pages 271-290

Climate Change and the Historicity of Nature in Hegel, Nishida, and Watsuji

While the existence of nature distinct from human influence becomes evermore suspect, within the natural sciences, human beings are increasingly understood in naturalistic terms. The collision of the human and natural, both within conceptual discourse and the reality of climate change may be considered a “great event” in the Hegelian sense, that reveals a dialectic immanent within the nature/culture distinction. Nishida’s notion of “historical nature,” Watsuji’s unique conception of climate, and the traditional satoyama landscapes of Japan offer timely ways of understanding the sublation of the distinction between nature and culture that render the nature/spirit hierarchy found in Hegel obsolete.