Environmentalism Evolving

Andrew Light makes a confession in a recent essay, “The moral journey of environmentalism: From wilderness to place.”  He says:

I never had a profound wilderness experience.


This is odd because, as Light puts it, “environmentalism is seen as a calling not unlike the ministry.  We answer in this case not to a holy spirit but to nature itself…”

So why is Light an environmentalist?  Because there are reasons to be.  Light worries that “the formidable experiences of the environmentalist are to be found in the realm of feeling or emotion rather than rational thought.”

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Audio interview: Steven Vogel

Following up on an earlier post, Matt Leudtke and I interviewed Professor Steven Vogel about his article “The Nature of Artifacts.”

Professor Vogel says, “nature, shmature,” Matt compares Vogel to an old man telling riddles, and Zach’s mind is blown – live, on radio – by a comparison between wilderness and the free market.  Oh, and Matt’s dog makes an appearance as a natural object/artifact/you decide.

Enjoy the ideas, and please comment below.  Background music from composer Chris Zabriskie.

Is the nature/artifact distinction meaningful?

Here’s a response to Professor Katz’s nature/artifact dualism.  It comes from Steven Vogel, who published an article called “The Nature of Artifacts.”  He points out that there is little left in the world that humans have not interfered with.

What we call nature generally turns out to be already humanized in one way or another, and so already in part “artificial.”

But more importantly, he asks why we place the nature/artifact distinction between the human world and the non-human world.

Why, after Darwin, do we treat this particular species, which after all evolved naturally in the same unplanned way as any other, as something outside of nature?

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