Towards Day 17 (Wed, Nov. 7): "Falling in Love Outward" (in a "post-exuberant" age?)

Anne Dalke's picture



weather prediction:
36 degrees, 19 mph winds, 50% chance of snow

from Obama's acceptance speech: "These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty."

I. Coursekeeping
On Thursday,
a posting about your site sit is due;
on Sunday,
a posting in conversation w/ each other,
about field trips, Thanksgiving week plans, follow up to class discussion...
(my proposal re: Thanksgiving--you read all of the Terry Tempest Williams' book for that Monday's class, when we discuss it; then we have an on-line discussion on Tues-Wed-Sun, each of you re-directing the 1 1/2 hours of class time into writing about/responding to others' writing about the text...?)
on Monday,
weather permitting, we'll try again for our biology ramble in Morris Woods;
on Wednesday, we're scheduled for another outside "adventure,"
a Blind Field Shuttle with Carmen Papalia:

Papalia is here as a guest artist, part of the current exhibit @ the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery @ Haverford: What Can a (Disabled) Body Do?  (which features the work of 9 contemporary artists, and will be running through Dec 16). Carmen, who is visually impaired, leads a non-visual walking tour where participants tour urban and rural spaces on foot. Forming a line behind Papalia, participants grab the right shoulder of the person in front of them and shut their eyes for the duration of the walk. Papalia then serves as a tour guide – passing useful information to the person behind him, who then passes it to the person behind him/her and so forth. The trip culminates in a group discussion about the experience. As a result of visual deprivation, participants are made more aware of alternative sensory perceptions such as smell, sound, and touch – so as to consider how non-visual input may serve as a productive means of experiencing place.

Also: I have paired you up w/ my E'sem'ers; assuming that we have our
biology ramble, you need to arrange to get together w/ them by Nov. 18

(feeling a little fretful about our fitful scheduling...
but perhaps this is thinking ecologically?)


II. Monday: very compatible work of Winona LaDuke

who draws on the reciprocal relationships and responsibilities of trad'l ecological knowledge
to advocate for a "Seventh Generation Amendment": "the right of citizens to use renewable
resources shall not impair their availability for future generations...."

and of Marilyn Waring,
who first thought she could empower the eco-system by giving it a monetary value-->
but then began to ask whether we want all life commodified in an economic model

III. Today: a couple of likewise compatible chapters from Carolyn
Merchant's Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World.

And I thought we'd start the way she starts, by writing about our own experience, and that of our families....
1) Self in Society: Consider your own famiy's history and place in society going back at least to your grandparents' generation. Were your ancestors native to this country? Are you or your parents first, second-, or perhaps eighth-generation immigrants? What large events--wars, depressions, revolutions, social movements--shaped their lives? How did your families use the land and relate to nature? Which of their values have your absorbed? Which have you rejected?

2) Society in Self: How have you been socialized? What effect has the society in which you grew up had on you as a female or male? Have you experienced sexism or racism in your faily life? What historical forces--immigration movements, urbanization, social mobility, educational opportunities--have helped to create your own economic position? Think about the values you have derived from your school, your church, and your workplace. How have the politics and economics of your community affected you? What environmental values have you formed as a result?

3) Self vs. Society: What conflicts do you experience between your own values and goals and the institutions and environment you anticipate in the future? What expectations do you have for yourselves and your children? How might your children's values differ from your own? How can you help to bring about a world that will provide them with a high quality of life?

Share some of this....

--> create/name our own deep ecologies? are they "post-exuberant"?

Merchant's analysis
Ecology (nonhuman interactions) --> (add us) human ecology --> (add time) environmental history -->
(add political/social institutions) social ecology  --> (seek new patterns of production, reproduction, consciousness) radical ecology

environmental problems result from contradictions between production
and local ecology, and between reproduction and production;
mechanistic world view needs to be replaced w/ framework of
interconnectedness and reciprocity, equally valuing all parts

Deep ecology
Arne Naess' principles:
1) relational, total-field image
2) biospherical egalitarianism
3) diversity and symbiosis
4) anti-class
5) against pollution, resource depletion
6) complexity, not complication
7) local autonomy and decentralization

new metaphysics, psychology, anthropology, ethic, w/ human place in nature's household
drawing on alternative Western thought, native peoples and eastern philosophers
a "subversive" "resistance movement"

"apron diagram":
1. ultimate philosophy principles
2. Naess' 8-point platform:

1) all life forms have value independent of human use
2) richness and diversity of life forms values in themselves
3) humans have no right to reduce this except to satisfy vital needs (how decided?)
4) flourishing of non-human life requires a smaller human population (how achieved?)
5) present human interference is excessive
6) policies must be changed
7) ideological change: appreciating life quality
8) obligation to implement these changes
3. general consequences
4. concrete decisions

his philosophy, "Ecosophy T," has one ultimate principle: Self-realization
(of all life--> "falling in love outward")

Europeans expanded 'exuberantly" across America; "people of plenty" assumed abundant resources;
New Ecological Paradigm grew out of growing awareness of resource scarcity: "post-exuberant age"
* humans remain 1 among many species interdependently invovled in global ecosystem
* human affairs influenced by intricate linkages of cause, effect, feedback;
our purposive actions have many unintended consequences
* we depend upon a finite biophysical environment which imposes potent physical restraints
* ecological laws cannot be repealed

Scientific roots:
David Bohm's "implicate order" an undivided, multidimensional wholeness,
or flow of energy, w/ classical mechanics as secondary
Ilya Prigogine's new thermodynamics, for open, large systems w/ nonlinear relationships
(small imputs produce new, unexpected effects;
spontaneous emergence, revolutionary change, w/ chaos as the norm)
Edward Lorentz's butterfly effect: sensitive dependence on initial conditions
James Lovelock's hypothesis of biosphere as self-regulating system,
maintaining conditions necessary for life (tautological?)

Eastern philosophy:
Tao Te Ching dialectical idealism of cyclic, ceaseless motion,
going, returning, expansion, contraction of world's underlying energy

Critiques:
lack of political critique
socioeconomic and scientific naivete
ecofeminist critique of patriarchal and superficial anti-class posture
neglect of difference

Reconstructive science, consistent with egalitarian and feminist social values?

Conclusion re: deepest ecology







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