From Deep Ecology to Ecological Civilization
Arran Gare (Swinburne University of Technology)

September 11, 2018, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
PHI research group, Deakin University

C.2.05
221 Burwood Hwy
Burwood 3125
Australia

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Deakin University

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ABSTRACT

While Arne Naess’ notion of deep ecology served to expose and bring into question the elitism and anthropocentricism of mainstream environmental thought and helped to elevate the status of ecology in understanding ourselves and our place in nature, judged by the present the deep ecology movement must be regarded as a failure. We are now hurtling towards a global ecological catastrophe which now appears inevitable. This should not be taken as a reason for rejecting the core of deep ecology, I will argue, but for overcoming the limitations of Naess’ philosophy by situating his work in the tradition of the radical enlightenment and the tradition of process metaphysics inspired by Herder, Goethe and Schelling,  and the extending ecology through process metaphysics to challenge and transform every other discipline and the core assumptions of the culture of modernity. This could provide alternatives of the categories of economics that, as Marx argued, are the forms of being in the modern world. Clearly, what is required is a much bolder program of cultural, social and economic transformation at a global level, which effectively means creating a new civilization. This is essentially what radical Chinese thinkers are calling for – the creation of an ‘ecological civilization’. In this paper I will detail the core ideas required to create such a civilization.

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