An Ecology of the Future: Nietzsche and Ecological Restoration
This chapter investigates what a Nietzschean philosophy or ontology of nature could look like. Starting with Zarathustra’s idea that the Übermensch has to be true to the earth, this chapter explores different notions of overcoming, according to Nietzsche’s texts. Following the notions of ressentiment and self-denial, we find that, for Nietzsche, it is our nature to act against our own nature. The Übermensch is not necessarily a being that does not act against itself, but there are, the essay argues, different ways to act against ourselves. This idea is unpacked by exploring how we relate to our environment. While it is clear that we mostly destroy our environment, it is less clear what occurs in attempts to restore the natural world. How do we grasp our own position in fields such as restoration ecology? The essay points out a few problematic notions in this regard and argues for an ecology of the future, in which we do not emphasize the restoration of nature, but most of all overcome our own problematic relationship with the natural world we attempt to restore. A Nietzschean ecology of the future is open to new ecosystems. It does not give up on restoration, but it provides alternative ways of looking at the future. Most importantly, we must place ourselves in ecosystems, not as restorers of an autonomous system, but as being part of the system. This does not mean that we become merely managers; it means most of all that we position ourselves to learn from these ecosystems.
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