PDC Homepage
Home » Products » Purchase

Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 29, 2008

Philosophy in Asia and the Pacific

Jeong Hyoung Wook
Pages 45-49

The Global Ecological Crisis and the Ideology of Gaebyeok and Sangsaeng

The contemporary age is approaching the downfall of human civilization due to the rapid collapse of the global ecology. As the popular obsession with industrial development, triggered by the Western modernization of the 18th century, expands across the entire world, minor regional environmental crises have merged into an irremediable global ecological crisis. This suggests that human society has lost its ability to harmonize with nature and is driving itself to a crisis of survival, dangling on the brink of a fatal cliff. The resolution of the global ecological crisis, which has been exacerbated primarily by Western civilization, requires an alternative thought paradigm that appeared in Korea over 100 years ago, one that can be characterized as ‘the ideology of Gaebyeok.’ This ideology proclaims that the global ecological crisis of our times is not simply a crisis of civilization sparked by energy over-consumption, but is rather an inevitable cyclical phenomenon stemming from a change in the universe’s natural order. The ideology of Gaebyeok, refined by a Korean Philosopher, Gim Il-Bu (1826-1898) in his work Jeongyeok (Right Change) and eventually brought to full blossom by Gang Jeung-San (1871-1909), suggests an excellent alternative way of thinking which offers a new hope to the citizens of the contemporary world who cannot 􀏐ind an escape from their risky societies. My paper will discuss this enlightened vision of global hope.