Tuesday 13 February 2024

Development of the philosophy of environmental conscience. A historical approach to a philosophical argument that would enable our species to relate to nature more profoundly and sustainably than it currently does, would stem from a philosophy of ecology (ecosophy), as part of a philosophy of biology (biosophy), and would have historical roots going back to the ancient Greeks Aristotle, Anaximander, and Heraclitus, but possibly even before this to even more ancient Vedic texts which influenced Hindu and Budhist belief systems. After the enlightenment, we could trace such thinking through St Augustine, Francis of Assisi, David Hume and Immanuel Kant. However, ecosophy might also be strengthened by more recent scientifically influenced and ecologically relevent writings such as those by Peter Kropotkin (mutual aid), Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Bertrand Russel, Alfred North Whitehead, Rene Thom, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Bauvoir. More recently Joanna Macey (World as Lover, World as Self), Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), Lynn Margulis (Symbiosis and symbiogenesis), Alan Rayner (Natural Inclusion). Natural Inclusion could be described as a philosophy arising from the scientific discoveries of the ecological behaviours of fungal mycelia in relation with other beings (mycosophy). In addition, cosmological philosophies that strengthen relations between nature and our species come from Alexander von Humboldt (and his French biologist friend and companion Aime Bonpland, whose teacher was the French forerunner of Charles Darwin (Natural Selection), none other than Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (role of environment in evolution and also known to be the founder of the notion of Biology as a science). Also, there is the wonderful Carl Sagan (Cosmos) and the physicist Professor Brian Cox (Wonders of Life) whose works on the physics of energy flows through biological and ecological systems have some philosophical implications relevent to this blog's title.