Deep Ecology – The Mislabeling of an Ontology

For nearly four decades Deep Ecology has featured prominently in Environmental Ethics as one of the key players in the movement to raise environmental consciousness and change the way people behave. But it has unfortunately been maligned as “just another holistic ecology” which seeks to make radical changes in the way humans and human culture interact with the natural environment. It has been tarred as being closely aligned with the non-anthropocentric ethics of nature which opened it to a series of “broadsides” from Murray Bookchin (1988) in the late 1980's which left the movement intellectually crippled. But the attacks launched by Bookchin center on holistic ethics and non-anthropocentrism of which Deep Ecology as it was originally conceived cites neither as being doctrinal to Deep Ecological thought (Naess 1973). (keep reading)

Suffering and Intervention

The topic of interventionism in nature for one reason or another has been a long-standing subject of debate for a very long time in environmental ethics and political discussions. To this day that are those that view intervention as a dichotomy, that one must either be for all intervention or against all intervention on principle. The reality of course is that there are many cases of intervention in nature going very wrong, such as the introduction of cane toads in northern Australian, or the eradication of Wolves in large areas of north America in the late 19th and early 20th century. Both acts that are horrific examples of human hubris when it comes to the management of nature. (kepp reading)

The Perky Experiments – Clouding Imagination and Perception

In 1910, a series of experiments were conducted that have come to be known as the Perky Experiments. They have achieved an almost mythical statuse, but the result shave been repeated and verified. In the experiments a subject was asked to look at a white wall, and unbeknownst to them a faint image just above the normal threshold of visibility, was back projected in soft focus onto the wall. Subjects to asked to visualise in their mind an image on the wall. (keep reading)

Exploring Consciousness and Perception

Perception and Consciousness represent the psychological lens through which we experience reality. There is some debate as to the precise nature of both phenomenon which will need to be outlined to proceed further we need to understand how both concepts are best understood and why they are more often then not closely linked together. Perception has two distinct meanings which are both applicable here: (1) Represents our ability to see, hear, smell or otherwise become aware through the senses of the world around us and its contents, and (2) is represented by the way in which something is understood, regarded or interpreted. In both cases, this is an accurate definition but alone neither represents a wholly complete explanation of the phenomenon. (keep reading)

The Initial Experience of Things – Perception and Aesthetics

There have been many different answers to the question of what conditions are required to constitute an aesthetic experience. Be it Kant’s disinterested contemplation, imaginative free play, or Hume’s concept of the ideal observer. All seem to be focused on a relatively restricted set of conditions in which the experience can be said to allow for an accurate aesthetic judgement. Within a certain set of conditions, it may be true enough, though the merit of aesthetic judgement itself is not our concern here. Instead let us turn attention towards the initial conditions and components of involved aesthetic experience prior to aesthetic judgement. (keep reading)

The “Native” Question

No doubt each of us is familiar with the concept of native plants and animals. Nativism is by no means a new concept, but it is one that is often supported by fallacies and pseudoscience. It is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in conservation policy. The problem is that the foundational values on which nativism rests is not clearly outlined in everyday thought because it is not a subject that is easily communicated since the value of native animals and plants has become so distorted through scientific understanding of ecology, the political and social perception of the “threat” of exotic species, and finally perhaps the most underappreciated source of value but perhaps mostly important to our appreciation of the concept of nativism which can be found in our rejection of the homogenisation of planetary ecology and the formation of mono-cultures resulting from invasive species. (keep reading)

Positive Aesthetics and Nature

In this discussion we will begin by exploring positive aesthetics in nature and attempt to understand why many thinkers about aesthetics posit that nature, properly understand has no negative aesthetic properties. Meaning that in a certain sense, It is inappropriate to view nature as ugly, deformed or disgusting. That all things in nature have are important for the functional operation of ecosystems and as such ought to induce as sense of appreciation in an aesthetic observer, if not of the scene directly then certainly of the natural processes involved. (keep reading)