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Vital Reenchantments: Biophilia, Gaia, Cosmos, and the Affectively Ecological

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ISBN: 9781950192076 9781950192083 Year: Pages: 276 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0240.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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Not all charms fly at the touch of cold philosophy. Vital Reenchantments examines so-called cold philosophy, or science, that does precisely the opposite — rather than mercilessly emptying out and unweaving, it operates as a philosophy that animates. More specifically, Greyson closely examines how a specific group of “poet-in-scientists” of the late 1970s and 1980s directed attention to the “wondrous” unfolding of life, at a time when the counter-culture in particular had made the institution of science synonymous with technologies of alienation and destruction. In this vein, Vital Reenchantments takes up E.O. Wilson’s Biophilia (1984), James Lovelock’s Gaia (1979), and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos (1980), in order to show how each work fleshes out scientific concepts with a unique attention to “affective wonder,” understood as the experience of and attunement to novel effects. What is so unique about these works is that they reenchant the scientific world without pandering to what Richard Dawkins will later term “cosmic sentimentality.” Carl Sagan may have said “We are made of starstuff,” but he would never insist, as Joni Mitchell did in 1969, that “we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Instead, they insist on a third way that does not rely on the idea of an ecological Eden — a vigorously vital materialism in which the affective trumps the sentimental. Further, the historical emergence of these works, all published within 5 years of each other, was no accident: each book responded to an ever deepening sense of environmental crisis, certainly, but along with it they responded to, perhaps more than marginally related, narratives of the large-scale disenchantment brought on by modernity or science, and more often than not a mixture of the two. Greyson argues that the persistence of these works and their affectively-charged scientific concepts in contemporary popular culture and ecological thought is no accident. As such, these works deserve recognition as far more than “popular science” and can be seen as essential contributions to more contemporary vital materialist thought and ecological theory. No doubt this talk of enchantment and wonder, so tied to immediate experience, can seem trivial in the face of any number of environmental crises (global warming first among these) that do not just appear ominously on the horizon, but loom as never before. The first task of this book thus to pose the same question that Jane Bennett does at the end of her own work on enchantment: “How can someone write a book about enchantment in such a world?” Does this approach really provide, as Latour phrases it, “a way to bridge the distance between the scale of the phenomena we hear about and the tiny Umwelt inside which we witness, as if it were a fish inside its bowl, an ocean of catastrophes that are supposed to unfold”? Ultimately, Vital Reenchantments argues that affective ecologies, properly attended to, point toward an open present, one that broadens the horizons of the “fish bowl” and allows us to imagine engendering futures that are neither naively hopeful nor hopelessly apocalyptic.

Contemporary Natural Philosophy and Philosophies - Part 1

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ISBN: 9783038978220 9783038978237 Year: Pages: 350 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03897-823-7 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-26 08:44:06
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Modern information communication technology eradicates barriers of geographic distances, making the world globally interdependent, but this spatial globalization has not eliminated cultural fragmentation. The Two Cultures of C.P. Snow (that of science–technology and that of humanities) are drifting apart even faster than before, and they themselves crumble into increasingly specialized domains. Disintegrated knowledge has become subservient to the competition in technological and economic race leading in the direction chosen not by the reason, intellect, and shared value-based judgement, but rather by the whims of autocratic leaders or fashion controlled by marketers for the purposes of political or economic dominance. If we want to restore the authority of our best available knowledge and democratic values in guiding humanity, first we have to reintegrate scattered domains of human knowledge and values and offer an evolving and diverse vision of common reality unified by sound methodology. This collection of articles responds to the call from the journal Philosophies to build a new, networked world of knowledge with domain specialists from different disciplines interacting and connecting with other knowledge-and-values-producing and knowledge-and-values-consuming communities in an inclusive, extended, contemporary natural–philosophic manner. In this process of synthesis, scientific and philosophical investigations enrich each other—with sciences informing philosophies about the best current knowledge of the world, both natural and human-made—while philosophies scrutinize the ontological, epistemological, and methodological foundations of sciences, providing scientists with questions and conceptual analyses. This is all directed at extending and deepening our existing comprehension of the world, including ourselves, both as humans and as societies, and humankind.

Keywords

n/a --- compositional hierarchy --- development --- dissipative structures --- final cause --- internalism --- Second Law of thermodynamics --- subsumptive hierarchy --- agonism --- apophasis --- autocatalysis --- centripetality --- contingency --- endogenous selection --- heterogeneity --- indeterminacy --- process --- mathematics --- physics --- philosophical foundations --- natural philosophy --- the logic of nature --- ontology --- epistemology --- in the name of nature --- philosophy of information --- natural philosophy --- metaphysics --- physics --- problem of induction --- physicalism --- theoretical unity --- philosophy of science --- scientific method --- scientific progress --- pessimistic induction --- awareness --- cognition --- computation --- cybernetics --- differentiation --- fitness --- holographic encoding --- memory --- perception --- quantum information --- signal transduction --- spatial representation --- thermodynamics --- unitarity --- Leibniz --- monad --- internal quantum state --- relational biology --- reflexive psychology --- self --- induction --- naturalism --- evidence and justification --- epistemic norms --- induction and concept formation --- induction and discovery of laws --- natural philosophy --- R.M. Unger --- L. Smolin --- Aristotle --- F.W.J. Schelling --- Naturphilosophie --- A.N. Whitehead --- Ivor Leclerc --- dialectics --- discourse --- discursive space --- information --- knowledge --- humanistic management --- language --- natural philosophy --- subjective experience --- process --- dual aspects --- consciousness --- information-theory --- theoretical biology --- 1st-person and 3rd-person perspectives --- hylomorphism --- mind --- form --- matter --- neurodynamics --- natural philosophy --- philosophy of science --- Jungian psychology --- depth psychology --- analytical psychology --- phenomenological psychology --- evolutionary psychology --- active imagination --- Aristotle’s four causes --- aesthetics in science --- philosophy as a way of life --- common good --- contradiction --- ethics --- information --- logic --- naturalization --- realism --- science --- synthesis --- natural philosophy --- philosophy of nature --- naturalism --- unity of knowledge --- qualitative ontology --- intentionality --- dispositions --- qualia --- abduction --- agent-based reasoning --- creativity --- eco-cognitive model --- eco-cognitive openness --- fallacies --- errors of reasoning --- third-way reasoning --- naturalization of logic --- causality --- embodiment --- measurement --- regulation --- retrocausality --- second-person description --- symmetry breaking --- temporality --- natural philosophy --- cosmology --- emptiness --- vacuum --- void --- dark energy --- space flight --- exoplanet --- big freeze --- big crunch --- everyday lifeworld --- digitization --- computability --- complexity --- reverse mathematics --- quantum computing --- real computing --- theory of everything --- acategoriality --- state-space approach --- mental representation --- dual-aspect monism --- exceptional experiences --- intentionality --- mind-matter relations --- category theory --- memory evolutive system --- emergence --- emergentist reductionism --- anticipation --- creativity --- info-computational model

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