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Are people part of nature? Yes and no: a perspectival account of the concept of ‘nature’


Deplazes-Zemp, Anna (2022). Are people part of nature? Yes and no: a perspectival account of the concept of ‘nature’. Environmental Ethics, 44(2):99-119.

Abstract

The question of whether or not people are part of nature is relevant to discuss humans’ role on earth and their environmental responsibilities. This article introduces the perspectival account of the concept of ‘nature,’ which starts from the observation that we talk about the environment from a particular, human perspective. In this account, the term ‘nature’ is used to refer to those parts of and events in the environment we perceive as being shaped by typically human activities. Humans themselves are part of nature insofar as they participate in and are products of natural processes. Therefore, in this account, nature is not only the passive environment, but also something active and generative that does not operate human creativity, but rather and it in shaping our environment. According to the perspectival account, the ‘nature’ concept expresses a particular relationship between the human agent and the non-human environment, which can be the starting point for normative theory.

Abstract

The question of whether or not people are part of nature is relevant to discuss humans’ role on earth and their environmental responsibilities. This article introduces the perspectival account of the concept of ‘nature,’ which starts from the observation that we talk about the environment from a particular, human perspective. In this account, the term ‘nature’ is used to refer to those parts of and events in the environment we perceive as being shaped by typically human activities. Humans themselves are part of nature insofar as they participate in and are products of natural processes. Therefore, in this account, nature is not only the passive environment, but also something active and generative that does not operate human creativity, but rather and it in shaping our environment. According to the perspectival account, the ‘nature’ concept expresses a particular relationship between the human agent and the non-human environment, which can be the starting point for normative theory.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
570 Life sciences; biology
170 Ethics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy, Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 January 2022
Deposited On:17 Oct 2022 06:29
Last Modified:27 Apr 2024 01:40
Publisher:University of North Texas, Center for Environmental Philosophy
ISSN:0163-4275
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5840/enviroethics202242736
Related URLs:https://uzb.swisscovery.slsp.ch/permalink/41SLSP_UZB/18ib5b3/alma990000245670205508 (Library Catalogue)
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