Poetics of the Earth is a work of environmental philosophy, based on a synthesis of eastern and western thought on natural and human history. It draws on recent biological research to show how the processes of evolution and history both function according to the same principles. Augustin Berque rejects the separation of nature and culture which he believes lies at the root of the environmental crisis. This book proposes a three stage process of "re-worlding" (moving away from the individualized self to become a part of the common world), "re-concretizing" (understanding the meaning and historical development of words and things) and "re-engaging" (reconsidering the relationship between history and subjectivity at every level of being) in order to bring western thought on nature and culture into sustainable harmony and alignment. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental studies, environmental philosophy, Asian studies and the natural sciences.
Augustin Berque has recently retired as Director of Studies in Environmental Philosophy and Geography at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France. He was the recipient of the 2018 International Cosmos Prize.
Translator Anne-Marie Feenberg-Dibon is Professor of Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. She studied at the Sorbonne (Licence d'Anglais, DES d'Anglais), France, and the University of California at San Diego, California (PhD in Comparative Literature), USA. Her publications include articles on the novel as well as translations of six philosophical books and numerous articles.
Preface: Re-naturalizing culture, Re-culturating nature through history
Part I: Re-worlding
1. The poem's reversal
2. Destinies of the subject
3. Destinies of the objects
4. Acosmia, or Cosmicity?
Part II: To re-concretize
5. Human mediance
6. Growing together
7. Including the middle
Part III: Reengagement
8. Nature makes sense for nature...and beyond
9. The contingency of life itself
10. History, evolution, trajection Conclusion: Earth, to be sure, is the name we give it, but Earth is the one that asserts us