Ecology and Existence

Bringing Sartre to the Water's Edge
 
 
Lexington Books (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 20. Juli 2017
  • |
  • 562 Seiten
 
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-7391-8289-5 (ISBN)
 
This study explores the increasingly troubled relationship between humankind and the Earth, with the help of a simple example and a complicated interlocutor. The example is a pond, which, it turns out, is not so simple as it seems. The interlocutor is Jean-Paul Sartre, novelist, playwright, biographer, philosopher, and, despite his several disavowals, doyen of twentieth-century existentialism. Standing with the great humanist at the edge of the pond, the author examines contemporary experience in the light of several familiar conceptual pairs: nature and culture, fact and value, reality and imagination, human and nonhuman, society and ecology, Earth and world. The theoretical challenge is to reveal the critical complementarity and experiential unity of this family of ideas. The practical task is to discern the heuristic implications of this lived unity-in-diversity in these times of social and ecological crisis. Interdisciplinary in its aspirations, the study draws upon recent developments in biology and ecology, complexity science and systems theory, ecological and Marxist economics, and environmental history. Comprehensive in its engagement of Sartre's oeuvre, the study builds upon his best-known existentialist writings, and also his critique of colonialism, voluminous ethical writings, early studies of the imaginary, and mature dialectical philosophy. In addition to overviews of Sartre's distinctive inflections of phenomenology and dialectics and his unique theories of praxis and imagination, the study also articulates for the first time Sartre's incipient philosophical ecology. In keeping with Sartre's lifelong commitment to freedom and liberation, the study concludes with a programmatic look at the relative merits of pragmatist, prefigurative, and revolutionary activism within the burgeoning global struggle for social and ecological justice. We learn much by thinking with Sartre at the water's edge: surprising lessons about our changing humanity and how we have come to where we are; timely lessons about the shifting relation between us and the broader community of life to which we belong; difficult lessons about our brutal degradation of the planetary system upon which life depends; and auspicious lessons, too, about a participatory path forward as we work to preserve a habitable planet and build a livable world for all earthlings.
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
By Matthew C. Ally
  • Intro
  • Acknowledgments
  • Prelude
  • Many Ways to Wonder
  • Hands in the mud
  • Head in the clouds
  • Nose to the glass
  • Eye to the lens
  • Feeling for patterns
  • Adding things up
  • Passing by
  • Around and around
  • A small blue egg
  • A pond is a pond
  • Note
  • ENVIRONMENTALISM AND HUMANISM
  • ships passing in the night
  • Chapter 1
  • Toward an Existential Ecology
  • The state of the Earth and the fate of the world
  • An uninvited guest at a cliquey party
  • The guest list
  • The better side of the impasse, and how to get there
  • The plan of the work
  • On reading this book
  • Notes
  • Chapter 2
  • Bringing Sartre to the Biosphere
  • Into the Sartrean straits
  • He started it
  • Excursus on Sartre and feminism
  • Who is the â??weâ?? of this book?
  • The prospect of a safe passage
  • What can we know about a pond?
  • One last proviso
  • Notes
  • NATURE AND CULTURE
  • what can we know about a pond?
  • First Interval
  • On Method and Substance
  • By what means?
  • Show or tell?
  • Show and tell
  • A whiff of the dialectic
  • No secrets allowed
  • Phenomenology forever
  • Notes
  • Chapter 3
  • A Phenomenological Exploration
  • To see what there is to see
  • From the agony of water to the ways of wetness
  • From an avian absence to other-than-human minds
  • From other-than-human minds to more-than-human bodies
  • Excursus on the body of Sartreâ??s big book
  • The fallen
  • Of earthly questions and worldly answers
  • Notes
  • Second Interval
  • On Method and Substance
  • Dialectical experience
  • The absolute in the relative
  • Show it anyway
  • The next step
  • Notes
  • Chapter 4
  • A Dialectical Investigation
  • From Earth to world
  • Secret identities and hybrid natures
  • Of the natural and the artificial
  • Just the facts, please
  • A flock of contradictions in a knot of needs
  • A braid of flows in a web of scarcity
  • Like rungs in a ladder
  • The bottom rung
  • The middle rung, though not the middling
  • The top rung, for now
  • From hierarchy toward holarchy
  • What on Earth is going on in the world?
  • Notes
  • FACT AND VALUE
  • Chapter 5
  • Order and Autonomy in Nature and History
  • A pious dream?
  • Passivity, exteriority, inertia
  • History, culture, materiality
  • Immersion, separation, isolation
  • Magic, desire, ambivalence
  • Sartre, science, and dialectics
  • Scientific evolution
  • An aberrant science
  • Things to come
  • New answers to old questions
  • Origins and totality: molecules, autonomy, organisms
  • Transformation: complexity, self-organization, coevolution
  • Interior relations: systems, planets, a goddess
  • Irreducibility: ontology, epistemology, mereology
  • More interesting after all?
  • More than a pious dream
  • Notes
  • Third Interval
  • On Method and Substance
  • What praxis means
  • What praxis is
  • What praxis does
  • Why praxis matters
  • Notes
  • Chapter 6
  • From Integral Humanity to Participatory Belonging
  • Ecologizing Sartreâ??s ethics
  • Normative naturalism, the naturalistic fallacy, and natural values
  • Promises, promises
  • Five not-so-easy pieces
  • The impossible necessity of morality
  • An ecological axiology?
  • Paper or plastic?
  • All of a piece
  • Quenching the unquenchable
  • The meaning of need
  • Animal exigencies
  • One plus one equals one
  • Rejoining the guild
  • Notes
  • REALITY AND IMAGINATION
  • ponds on earth and other worlds
  • Chapter 7
  • A Worldly Crisis in Earthly Perspective
  • Facing reality
  • In defense of the real
  • Against the universal
  • A global turning point
  • A planetary crossroads
  • Of capacities and boundaries
  • Whatâ??s in a name?
  • Capitalist world
  • Colony earth
  • Consumptive hominid
  • The lives and deaths of a pond
  • Of winners losing and losers winning
  • Toward the imaginary
  • Notes
  • On Method and Substance
  • The basics
  • Enter Pierre
  • The functions
  • Pierre returns
  • A circle unbroken
  • Notes
  • Chapter 8
  • Intimations of a New Socioecological Imaginary
  • From the theory of imaginaries to imaginative practice
  • The nether side of progress
  • To cross this earthly intersection
  • Of worldly imaginaries
  • Coalescent images of the imaginary
  • Beyond the copula
  • A blinding glimpse of the obvious
  • Possible futures
  • An imaginary history of the pond
  • Notes
  • EARTH AND WORLD
  • from habitability to livability
  • Chapter 9
  • To the Far Side of Anthropocentrism
  • Just another bad idea
  • Sins of the father
  • The center does not hold
  • Special dispensations and the secret society
  • If all you have is a hammer
  • Two things to forgive and nothing to forget
  • Dominionâ??s end and means beyond mastery
  • Notes
  • Fifth Interval
  • On Method and Substance
  • FIRST MOVEMENT: OF FARMERS, FORESTS, AND FOLLY
  • SECOND MOVEMENT: OF ABSOLUTE ENDS AND VITAL MEANS
  • Notes
  • Chapter 10
  • On the Near Side of Ecocentrism
  • In the beginning was the deed
  • Crying fire in an empty theater
  • Forever earthlings, here and elsewhere
  • Never say canâ??t
  • Keeping time
  • Through a glass not-so-darkly
  • Twelve pragmatist theses for a habitable planet
  • Presenting the future
  • Twelve prefigurative precepts for a livable world
  • Almost algorithmic
  • Reimagining revolution
  • Itâ??s the system
  • Time to swim
  • Marching Orders
  • Notes
  • Coda
  • Bringing Earth and World Together Again
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author

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