Abram 188 mdtm

Abram 188 mdtm - Maia Kazaks ES188 F07 Midterm essay Part...

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Maia Kazaks ES188 F07 Midterm essay Part One: The Essay Abram versus the Rest of the World: Challenging the Basis of Technocentrism The development of the modern objective perspective, through the separation of humans and self from nature, or the other, produced an anthropocentric arrogance, lacking deeper awareness and connection to the earth. David Abram challenges the values and ethics that form the basis of our society’s technocentric worldview by looking at philosophical theories of the past. Using major ideas and theories of Merleau-Ponty, Abram finds relief from the despair of a failed modernity through perception. The Cartesian dichotomy, so essential for justifying the abuse of the Other, is countered in Abram’s over-arching philosophy of interconnected beings, reflected in the principle of Gaia and several aspects of the ecocentrism understanding. From Aristotle to Descartes to Al Gore Our separation from other life and thus, other levels of understanding, may be founded in Aristotle. Aristotle’s theory that plants exist for the use of animals, and both existing for the purpose of humans, hammered a wedge between one species and all the others on this planet. Aristotle assigned these roles to the various forms of life by making assumptions about the souls of these beings, the vegetal, animal and rational souls.
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Descartes decided that it is humans alone, with intellect and “thinking minds”, who can and should make decisions for all beings who are “incapable of actual experience, unable to feel pleasure or suffer pain. Hence, we humans need have no scruples about manipulating, exploiting, or experimenting upon other animals in any manner we see fit” (Abram, p48). This is based on two views: that as a human one has a separation from the entirety of the natural world (self and other), and that nature exists (and is valued as) a resource, rather than an interconnected community of beings and the assumption of an inherent hierarchy with humans as rulers. The only things beyond human control are mathematical regularities and natural laws, which, according to Descartes and Galileo, govern all aspects of non-human life. Descartes’ theory of nature maintains that nature is controllable and neutral, and
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course ENV S 188 taught by Professor Mcginnis during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Abram 188 mdtm - Maia Kazaks ES188 F07 Midterm essay Part...

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