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Explaining and Describing: Panpsychism and Deep Ecology

  • Michael HampeEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 29)

Abstract

In the seventeenth century reflections on the limitedness of the human mind often went hand in hand with the humble acceptance of the human perspective as the only one available to us. Nature here emerged as an object that is valuable only in so far as it is able to satisfy human needs and desires. In recent years this anthropocentric approach towards nature has been challenged for its failure to deal with pressing ecological problems. Arne Naess, for instance, argues that a fundamental change in the way we experience nature is needed. In this essay I will trace the roots of Naess’ conception of nature back to early modern forms of panpsychism. The aim of this consists in revealing that approaches defending the existence of mind-like entities in nature need not be associated with mysticism. These approaches, as will be argued, are valuable in that they enable us to rethink man’s position in history and nature, and through this enable us to recognize the educative role of philosophy.

Keywords

Environmental Ethic Applied Ethic Scientific Image Internal World Practical Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Isabel Adey and Naomi Osorio-Kupferblum for translating this essay from the German.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH ZürichZurichSwitzerland

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