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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 11, 2018

Environmental Philosophy

Yanfeng Hu
Pages 41-46

A Humble Opinion on the Relationship Between Humans and Nature

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.

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