Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 24, Issue 47, April 2016

Thinking Nature Today

Massimiliano Simons
Pages 109-124

The End and Rebirth of Nature?
From Politics of Nature to Synthetic Biology

In this article, two different claims about nature are discussed. On the one hand, environmental philosophy has forced us to reflect on our position within nature. We are not the masters of nature as was claimed before. On the other hand there are the recent developments within synthetic biology. It claims that, now at last, we can be the masters of nature we have never been before. The question is then raised how these two claims must be related to one another. Rather than stating that they are completely irreconcilable, I will argue for a dialogue aimed to discuss the differences and similarities. The claim is that we should not see it as two successive temporal phases of our relation to nature, but two tendencies that can coexist.