Toward an Ecological Civilization

Process Studies 39 (1):5-38 (2010)
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Chinese environmentalists have called for an ecological civilization. To promote this, ecology is defended as the core science embodying process metaphysics, and it is argued that as such ecology can serve as the foundation of such a civilization. Integrating hierarchy theory and Peircian semiotics into this science, it is shown how “community” and “communities of communities,” in which communities are defined by their organization to promote the common good of their components, have to be recognized as central concepts not only of ecology, but of life itself. This perspective is used to defend Lovelock’s “Gaia” hypothesis and the call of Prugh, Costanza, and Daly for strong democracy. An ethics and political philosophy is sketched based on “eco-poiesis” or “home-making,” which is equated with augmenting the life of communities, both human and non-human.

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Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology