By Emily all Brady
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Additional info for Environment and Philosophy (Routledge Introductions to Environment Series)
1 Nature as mechanical Mechanism then involves a stripping process, the stripping out especially of mindlike qualities such as agency and goal-directedness. The same stripping process is applied in the case of the natural world to yield the account of nature as a machine. Nature is taken to have no originative power within itself, and to be devoid of teleology, to be ‘plastic’. Cosmos and organism emerge as a meaningless assemblage of parts because their organising principles are lost in the destruction of intentional description, and its isolation in the separate organ of mind.
3 Cartesian dualism Though Plumwood is keen to stress that the dualism between nature and reason is rooted in ancient thought, she thinks it took on a fresh lease of life through the emergence of modern THE EXPLOITATION OF NATURE AND WOMEN 43 science. It assumed the form at that stage of a dualism between mind and physicality: the category of reason is ‘morphed’ into the category of the mind, and ‘nature’ stands now for the material world. This particular incarnation, the dualism between mind and the material world, had a specially significant influence for our Modern dealings with nature.
4 Determinism stands against the idea that some things that happen, happen, as it were, spontaneonsly. Their occurrence is not fixed by prior conditions. It has seemed to some that human freedom depends on there being some of these ‘spontaneous’ events—namely human ‘acts of will’. Human acts of will, in this view, aren’t determined by what has gone before. They are ‘free’. And only if we think of them as free, can we think of human action as anything other than bits of the universal machine turning.
Environment and Philosophy (Routledge Introductions to Environment Series) by Emily all Brady