Nature Revisited


After my travels through Japan, I have returned to work on my graduation thesis. Below is a popularized version of the argument I am making. This will be my first and probably only post in English. The reason for this is that I wrote the following piece as a preparation for my thesis, which will also have to be in English.

It is a tenet of the environmental movement called ‘Deep Ecology‘ that a different understanding of the being of Nature will lead to a different ethics in Nature. This paper will attempt to provide room for a particular kind of understanding of Nature, which may be slightly different from our usual Western contemporary worldview. The change I propose is, simply, that we should not look upon Nature as an external ┬┤pool of resources┬┤ to be exploited by us, humans. We should, rather, see ourselves as a part of Nature – which should not (necessarily) invoke images of shamanistic rituals and dances around the totem (though if you are into that, you are definitely free to give it a go). It rather is a view that is already embraced by many thinkers, activists and people that feel a need to care for their environment. I am sure that after some consideration many more might agree upon its validity. The ideas speaking in favour of the conception of Nature that I will present here cannot be called my own, nor do they only belong to the authors I will mention here. One can find similar thoughts throughout the entire history of humanity, ranging from ancient Buddhism to Spinoza to Heidegger. All these traces have influenced my thoughts, so that this article should be seen as a mere recapitulation of what I have learned from studying the great minds of the past.

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