Ecology and Philosophy
The current ecological crisis (maybe “crisis” is far too limited a term) means that humans are undergoing an upgrade in how they think and feel about nonhuman beings. An upgrade, whether they like it or not, and whether they are aware of it or not: even Rush Limbaugh needs to wear sunscreen.
The crisis in ecological awareness is thus also a crisis in philosophy. For the last two hundred years, a very interesting movement and counter-movement has evolved within philosophy. This dynamic is about how we allow lifeforms into thought, into our ethical and political concern, and into social space.
Furthermore, it's quite clear that we live in a set of overlapping, often contradictory, philosophies embodied in fields, food, energy, the way we talk to cats, how we make art and what we do (or don't do) about toilets, meat, and ice (and so on). These embodied philosophies make up a 12 000-year pattern.
This class will complicate and clarify your ability to engage with nonhuman beings.
You will improve your ability to think and reflect, and allow yourself to be wrong, or puzzled, or curious.
You will understand a living tradition that deeply affects the biosphere, of which theory is a somewhat narrow bandwidth. And make ideas about what to do about it.