This book is about the extent, origins and causes of the environmental crisis. Dr Northcott argues that Christianity has lost the biblical awareness of the inter-connectedness of all life. He shows how Christian theologians and believers might recover a more ecologically friendly belief system and life style. The author provides an important corrective to secular approaches to environmental ethics, including utilitarian individualism, animal rights theories and deep ecology. He contends that neither the stewardship tradition, nor the panentheist or (...) process ecological theologies have successfully mobilised the Christian tradition. He demonstrates that the Hebrew Bible contains an ecological message which is close to the traditions of many primal and indigenous peoples and which provides an important corrective to instrumental attitudes to nature in much modern philosophy and Christian ethics. (shrink)
Human behavioral ecology (HBE) began as an attempt to explain human economic, reproductive, and social behavior using neodarwinian theory in concert with theory from ecology and economics, and ethnographic methods. HBE has addressed subsistence decision-making, cooperation, life history trade-offs, parental investment, mate choice, and marriage strategies among hunter-gatherers, herders, peasants, and wage earners in rural and urban settings throughout the world. Despite our rich insights into human behavior, HBE has very rarely been used as a (...) tool to help the people with whom we work. This article introduces a special issue of Human Nature which explores the application of HBE to significant world issues through the design and critique of public policy and international development projects. The articles by Tucker, Shenk, Leonetti et al., and Neil were presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Washington, D.C., in December 2005, in the first organized session of the nascent Evolutionary Anthropology Section (EAS). We conclude this introduction by summarizing some theoretical challenges to applying HBE, and ways in which evolutionary anthropologists can contribute to solving tough world issues. (shrink)
Message from the planet -- When prophecy fails -- Energy and empire -- Climate economics -- Ethical emissions -- Dwelling in the light -- Mobility and pilgrimage -- Faithful feasting -- Remembering in time.
Introducción: Se presenta un análisis cualitativo del acompañamiento psicosocial a jóvenes en condiciones de vulnerabilidad desde la ecología humana durante 12 meses entre 2010 a 2011; utilizando técnicas pedagógicas evaluativas participativas. Éstas, son una alternativa para crear espacios reflexivos con el propósito de potenciar la resiliencia en las relaciones comunicativas y formar en el respeto. Objetivo: Generar bienestar, prevenir la farmacodependencia y contribuir a la promoción de la salud. Material y Métodos: Se revisaron los antecedentes temáticos, fueron seleccionados 100 estudiantes (...) entre 11 y 19 años de dos instituciones educativas públicas en condiciones vulnerables;se desarrollaron cuatro talleres reflexivos y cuatro prácticas lúdicas y se realizaron tres grupos focales con estudiantes, profesores y padres de familia. Resultados y Discusión: El contexto social de la población intervenida, revela problemas de abuso sexual, violencia intrafamiliar y eventos violentos en el vecindario por grupos armados ilegales, entre otros, que constituyen factores de riesgo importantes para la farmacodependencia. Conclusión: Se infiere que lo psicosocial incide en la farmacodependencia, afectando la convivencia de la población estudiada por múltiples causas del orden psicoafectivo, sociocultural, económico y político que van desde el consumo cultural hasta la seguridad alimentaria. Introduction: A qualitative analysis of the psycho-social support to young people in situations of vulnerability from humanecology is presented for 12 months between 2010 to 2011; using participatory evaluative pedagogical techniques. These are an alternative to create reflective spaces with the purpose of enhancing resilience in communicative relationships and working in respect. Objective: to generate well-being, prevent drug abuse and contribute to the health promotion. Material aids and methods: the thematic background was reviewed, 100 students between 11 and 19 years of two public schools in vulnerable conditionswere selected; four reflective workshops and four playful practices were developed and three focus groups with students, teachers and parentswere conducted. Results and discussion: the social context of the manipulated population reveals sexual abuse problems, domestic violence and violent events in the neighborhood by illegal armed groups, among others, which constitutemajor risk factors for drug abuse. Conclusion: It can be inferred that the psychosocial factors impact on drug dependence, affecting the coexistence of the population studied by multiple causes of the psychological, socio-cultural, economic and political order, ranging from cultural consumption to food security. (shrink)
We lay the foundations for a critical humanecology (CHE) that combines the strengths of the biophysical humanecology tradition in environmental sociology with those of historical materialism. We show the strengths of a critically informed humanecology by addressing four key meta-theoretical issues: materialist versus idealist approaches in the social sciences, dialectical versus reductionist analyses, the respective importance of historical and ahistorical causal explanations, and the difference between structural and functional interpretations of phenomena. (...) CHE breaks with the idealism of Western Marxism, which dominated academic neo-Marxist thought in the latter half of the 20th century, and advocates instead the pursuit of a materialist, scientific methodology in dialectical perspective for the explanation of social and ecological change. In turn, this project also involves a critique of the ahistorical and functionalist tendencies of traditional humanecology, while sharing humanecology's basic starting point: the ecological embeddedness of human societies. (shrink)
Environment is essentially in the category of culture and environmental research should be based on human value and culture. The study of the relationship between humans and their natural environment should also refer to human relations. Since the operational logic of social capital is the root of ecological crisis, the ultimate solution to this problem lies in human’s correct thinking, institutional, political and behavioral patterns in dealing with nature. Re-establishing humanecology therefore provides a cultural (...) basis for the harmony between human and nature and realistic basis for the psycho-physical harmony and spiritualization of humans. (shrink)
Bringing together some of the most eminent thinkers in the field, this book celebrates the seminal contribution of Ted Benton to such pressing themes as: realism, naturalism and the philosophy of the social sciences, the continuing relevance of Marxism, philosophical anthropology and human needs, and ecology, society and natural limits.
What sets Naess's deep ecology apart from most inquiries into environmental philosophy is that it does not seek a radical shift in fundamental values. Naess offered a utopian, life-affirming grand narrative, a new Weltanschauung that shifted the focus of inquiry to coupling values, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to behavior. The core of Naess's approach is that sustainability hinges on developing more thoroughly reasoned and consistent views, policies, and actions, which are tied back to wide-identifying ultimate norms and a rich, (...) well-informed understanding of the state of the planet. But humans can have multiple ultimate norms and these norms sometimes conflict; our neurobiology may not be well-structured for accommodating consequences that are spatially and temporally separated and uncertain; we are governed by bounded rationality; much of human learning results from the passive modeling of unsustainable activities; and our cultures can be maladaptive, creating hurdles and perverse incentives/disincentives that likely demand more than consistent reasoning from wide-identifying ultimate premises. After keenly demonstrating how problem characterization and formulation shape both solution strategies and outcomes, Naess may conceptualize the process of change too narrowly. In the end, deep ecology helps us to shine a brighter searchlight on the gap between our attitudes and our generally unsustainable actions and policies. In doing so it expands the frontier of the unknown, opening more questions. This is its allure, frustration, and promise. (shrink)
The transfer of food among group members is a ubiquitous feature of small-scale forager and forager-agricultural populations. The uniqueness of pervasive sharing among humans, especially among unrelated individuals, has led researchers to evaluate numerous hypotheses about the adaptive functions and patterns of sharing in different ecologies. This article attempts to organize available cross-cultural evidence pertaining to several contentious evolutionary models: kin selection, reciprocal altruism, tolerated scrounging, and costly signaling. Debates about the relevance of these models focus primarily on the extent (...) to which individuals exert control over the distribution of foods they acquire, and the extent to which donors receive food or other fitness-enhancing benefits in return for shares given away. Each model can explain some of the variance in sharing patterns within groups, and so generalizations that ignore or deny the importance of any one model may be misleading. Careful multivariate analyses and cross-cultural comparisons of food transfer patterns are therefore necessary tools for assessing aspects of the sexual division of labor, human life history evolution, and the evolution of the family. This article also introduces a framework for better understanding variation in sharing behavior across small-scale traditional societies. I discuss the importance of resource ecology and the degree of coordination in acquisition activities as a key feature that influences sharing behavior. Key Words: behavioral ecology; cooperation; costly signaling; food sharing; foragers; reciprocal altruism. (shrink)
I attempt to complement my earlier critiques of human sociobiology, by offering an account of how evolutionary ideas might legitimately be employed in the study of human social behavior. The main emphasis of the paper is the need to integrate studies of proximate mechanisms and their ontogenesis with functional/evolutionary research. Human psychological complexity makes it impossible to focus simply on specific types of human behavior and ask for their functional significance. For any of the kinds of (...) behavior patterns that have occupied human sociobiologists, the underlying proximate mechanisms are very likely to be linked to a broad spectrum of types of behavior, and we cannot expect that natural selection will have acted directly on any individual element from this spectrum. I illustrate this general point with a specific example, considering the traditional sociobiological account of human incest-avoidance and outlining an alternative approach to the phenomena. The example is intended to show the possibility of a more rigorous and sophisticated successor to human sociobiology, which I call "human behavioral ecology". (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to consider the significance that Hegel grants to religious love and, with it, forgiveness in his early The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate. Although Hegel characterizes religious love in this writing as a unity that transcends reason, his association of such love with forgiveness nevertheless sheds light on an important aspect of human finitude. In this, Hegel may be seen to identify forgiveness as a form of freedom elicited by limits that (...) we encounter in practical life. The author suggests that Hegel’s approach to forgiveness, which makes use not only of themes expressed by Jesus in the Gospel but also Greek tragedy, comprises an attractive alternative to some current views. (shrink)
Nowadays the real threat has appeared: "thinking man" will disappear from the planet, and his place will be taken by "information consuming man." The rapidly evolving spiritually dependent consumer will turn into a completely controlled human being. A value orientation that we did not create will entirely determine all our choices and dominate our attention. Both the values and the products of mass culture are being spread among consumers as extensively as possible by mechanisms of culture manufacture, in accord (...) with the technological opportunities of the modern culture industry, connected in many ways with the mass media, and are being consumed on the same level as other products offered in the modern market. It becomes clear that the ecology of consciousness, along with the ecology of human life, is the most urgent and the most current problem of contemporary society.The main tasks of a global ecology of consciousness are to understand the conditional character of the external system of values and the radical reorientation that is appropriate to it; to create a culture of life as the realization of the original boundlessly disclosing free spirit, manifested in the encounter of man and world; and to return from captivity to imaginary things to life as dialogue with the world. First of all it is necessary to advance to a deep ecological understanding of the world—an understanding of nature, completed in the "noosphere," as the unique and perfect home of human consciousness. When a human being recognizes "the internal eco-crisis" and discovers the chaos and senselessness behind the imaginary clarity, he inevitably realizes the necessity for radical changes. His activity is initiated by the deepest satisfaction accompanying the expansion of the bounds of perception. We are speaking about the integral human being, personifying in himself both nature and civilization at the point of their intersection, removing the contradictions between the physical and the spiritual, between naturalness and technological progress. (shrink)
Governments and non-govermental organizations (NGOs) that plan projects to conserve the environment and alleviate poverty often attempt to modify rural livelihoods by halting activities they judge to be destructive or inefficient and encouraging alternatives. Project planners typically do so without understanding how rural people themselves judge the value of their activities. When the alternatives planners recommend do not replace the value of banned activities, alternatives are unlikely to be adopted, and local people will refuse to participate. Human behavioral (...) class='Hi'>ecology and behavioral economics may provide useful tools for generating and evaluating hypotheses for how people value economic activities in their portfolios and potential alternatives. This is demonstrated with a case example from southwestern Madagascar, where plans to create a Mikea Forest National Park began with the elimination of slash-and-burn maize agriculture and the encouragement to plant labor-intensive manioc instead. Future park plans could restrict access to wild tuber patches, hunting small game, and fishing. The value of these activities is considered using observational data informed by optimal foraging theory, and experimental data describing people’s time preference and covariation perception. Analyses suggest that manioc is not a suitable replacement for maize for many Mikea because the two crops differ in terms of labor requirements, delay-to-reward, and covariation with rainfall. Park planners should promote wild tuber foraging and stewardship of tuber patches and the anthropogenic landscapes in which they are found. To conserve small game, planners must provide alternative sources of protein and cash. Little effort should be spent protecting lemurs, as they are rarely eaten and never sold. (shrink)
Approaching modern psychology -- Science and faith: learning from the past -- Neuropsychology: linking mind and brain -- Neuropsychology and spiritual experience -- Linking the brain and behavior -- Human nature: biblical and psychological portraits -- Human nature and animal nature: are they different? -- Personology and psychotherapy: confronting the challenges -- Human needs: psychological and theological perspectives -- Consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Explaining consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Determinism, freedom, and responsibility -- The (...) future of science and faith: beyond perspectivalism? (shrink)
Our civilization is changing and so is our science. Human beings in endeavors from education to economics need a framework for understanding which integrates the maelstrom of insights into a useable form. That, in essence, is what the study of Dynamic Evolution provides. Dynamic Evolution (also called Cosmic or General Evolution) is a synthesis of insights, ancient and cutting edge, which radically revamps our understanding of how organizations arise and how change takes place as a result of intertwined forces (...) in a co?evolving whole. What has become clear in recent years is that the two key elements in this evolutionary march are energy flow and interdependent dynamics. New understandings of how these two key features work have mushroomed in the last 30 years. Popularized under such names as chaos, complexity, self?organization theory, Gaia and the new biology, these new insights provide an increasingly clear new understanding of the world and an increasingly coherent path through the confusion of our times. This article provides a brief overview of how rules of energy?driven organization can change our picture of what we must do to build a resilient, sustainable civilization. (shrink)
Is morality too difficult for human beings? Kant said that it was, except with God's assistance. Contemporary moral philosophers have usually discussed the question without reference to Christian doctrine, and have either diminished the moral demand, exaggerated human moral capacity, or tried to find a substitute in nature for God's assistance. This book looks at these philosophers--from Kant and Kierkegaard to Swinburne, Russell, and R.M. Hare--and the alternative in Christianity.
The concept of sustainable development is here revised in the light of a brief historical analysis, followed by a semantic analysis of the expressions development and sustainability. The authors criticize the common use of this concept in a loose way or in wide generalizations, to conclude, based on the principles of humanecology, that it is only possible to make it operational in limited spans of time and in limited spatial units.
Although Darwinian concepts have largely been banned from the social sciences of the last century, they have recently seen a revival in several disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, or economics. Most of the current proponents of evolutionary theorizing in the social sciences avoid references to the older literature on social evolution. On that background, this article presents a contribution to Darwinist thinking in early American sociology that has mainly been overlooked in the literature. As the leading figure of the (...) class='Hi'>HumanEcology Approach, which was established during the 1920s and 1930s, Robert Ezra Park drew heavily on evolutionary concepts to explain human evolution. A systematic presentation of these concepts in the light of the modern discussion on sociocultural evolution is given, followed by a conclusion about what can be learned from Park today. (shrink)
Here we attempt to define a specifically humanecology within which male reproductive strategies are formulated. By treating the domestic and public spheres of social life as "ecological niches" that men have been forced to compete within or to avoid as best they can, we generate a typology of four "social modes" of human male behavior. We then attempt to explain the broad distribution of social modes within and between human groups based on the relative intensity (...) of scramble and contest competition. (shrink)
Presents a provocatively anthropocentric analysis of the way forward for green politics and environmental movements, exposing the deficiencies and contradictions of green approaches to post-modern politics and deep ecology. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
This essay examines and compares two paradigms of technology, nature, and social life, and their associated environmental impacts. I explore moving from technocratic paradigms to the emerging ecological paradigms of planetary person ecosophies. The dominant technocratic philosophy's guiding policy and technological power is mechanistic. It conceptualizes nature as a resource to be controlled for human ends. Its global practices are drastically altering the integrity of the planet's ecosystems. In contrast, the organic, planetary person approaches respect the intrinsic values of (...) all beings. Deep ecology movement principles give priority to community and ecosystem integrity. These deep ecology movement principles guide the design and applications of technology by principles following from ecological understanding. I describe this shift in philosophical paradigms and how it affects our perceptions, values, and actions. (shrink)
The changing situation in South Africa and Eastern Europe prompts Charles Villa-Vicencio to investigate the implications of transforming liberation theology into a theology of reconstruction and nation-building. Such a transformation, he argues, requires theology to become an unambiguously interdisciplinary study. This book explores the encounter between theology, on the one hand, and constitutional writing, law-making, human rights, economics, and the freedom of conscience on the other. Placing his discussion in the context of the South African struggle, the author compares (...) this situation to that in Eastern Europe, and the challenge of what is happening in these situations is identified for contexts where "the empire has not yet crumbled.". (shrink)
Between the body and the breathing earth : on the phenomenology of depth perception -- To praise again : phenomenology and the project of ecopsychology -- Postphenomenology and the lifeworld : interconnections, relationships, and environmental wholes : a phenomenological ecology of natural and built worlds.
A Jewish introduction to the human sciences -- Responsive thinking: cultural studies and Jewish historiography -- Seasons and lifetimes -- Toward an anthropology of the twentieth century -- Tropes of home -- A moment of danger, a taste of death -- Extinction and difference.
How far do cultures affect the future of the planet? Can the debate on the environment and global warming be influenced by the cultures of East and West understanding each other better? In this consistently provocative dialogue, two of the most influential thinkers of recent times propose that only a 'human revolution' - a shift in the hearts and minds of individuals - can stimulate a revolution in humanity's relationship with the planet. Such a planetary revolution first requires a (...) transformation of moral and political leadership, and an orientation towards the future rather than a preoccupation with the short-termist policies of the present. Responding to humanity's ills from the Buddhist perspective, and with all the accumulated wisdom of the eastern philosophical tradition, Daisaku Ikeda calls for politicians to take as their mainstays a respect for the dignity of life and an eloquence to inspire in people a sense of community and courage. Correspondingly, renowned western economist and scholar of education Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner stresses the importance of proper educational planning and development in addressing the challenges posed by poverty, inequality and climate change. While acknowledging the scale of the task that lies ahead, both men offer an inspiring and hopeful vision for the future. (shrink)
- How can anthropology improve our understanding of the interrelationship between nature and culture? - What can anthropology contribute to practical debates which depend on particular definitions of nature, such as that concerning sustainable development? Humankind has evolved over several million years by living in and utilizing 'nature' and by assimilating it into 'culture'. Indeed, the technological and cultural advancement of the species has been widely acknowledged to rest upon human domination and control of nature. Yet, by the 1960s, (...) the idea of culture in confrontation with nature was being challenged by science, philosophy and the environmental movement. Anthropology is increasingly concerned with such issues as they become more urgent for humankind as a whole. This important book reviews the current state of the concepts of 'nature' we use, both as scientific devices and ideological constructs, and is organised around three themes: - nature as a cultural construction; - the cultural management of the environment; and - relations between plants, animals and humans. (shrink)
Ecology, Community and Lifestyle is a revised and expanded translation of Naess' book Okologi, Samfunn og Livsstil, which sets out the author's thinking on the relevance of philosophy to the problems of environmental degradation and the rethinking of the relationship between mankind and nature. The text has been thoroughly updated by Naess and revised and translated by David Rothenberg.
A radical approach to the environment which argues that by harnessing the power of science for human benefit, we can have a healthier planet As a prizewinning theoretical physicist and an outspoken advocate for scientific literacy, James Trefil has long been the public's guide to a better understanding of the world. In this provocative book, Trefil looks squarely at our environmental future and finds-contrary to popular wisdom-reason to celebrate. For too long, Trefil argues, humans have treated nature as something (...) separate from themselves-pristine wilderness to be saved or material resources to be exploited. What we need instead is a scientific approach to the environment that embraces the human transformation of nature for our benefit. In Human Nature , Trefil exposes the benefits of genetically modified species, uncovers vital facts about droughts and global warming, and points to examples of environmental management where catering to humans reaps greater rewards than sheltering other species. By taking advantage of explosive advances in the sciences, we can fruitfully manage the planet, if we rise to the challenge. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb, Human Nature promises to fundamentally alter the way we perceive our relationship to the Earth-but with optimism rather than alarm. (shrink)