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Murray Bookchin - What Is Social Ecology

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In Murray Bookchin’s essay, “What Is Social Ecology”, Bookchin explains the relationship between society and nature. In his intro, he specifically addresses the exploitative behavior of humanity towards nature for the sake of creating products. . She does this through analyzing varying philosopher’s opinions and theories in regards to the topic. In the beginning of her essay, she references G.E. Moore and Eugene Hargrove’s view that beauty as a whole is an intrinsic good. Due to this, the preservation of intrinsic goodness is dependent on the preservation of nature, and vise-versa.

She does bring into judgement to reasons to doubt her views on aesthetics in relation to natural beauty. First that only objects created with intention by humans can be judged with that vision. However, this can be challenged by the argument that that view is simply anthropocentric. The second is in regards to how opinions vary in terms of what is beautiful in nature. However, Thompson states that contrasting opinions does not affect the objectivity. That these opinions are merely preferences.

Thompson believes that appreciation of nature should be performed differently than that of man-made art. It is demanded that the one viewing nature should be able to appreciate things that aren’t always viewed as pretty. Instead, it should be understood with the idea of focusing on nature’s creativity. This should be a recognition of not just the magnificent, but the originality of nature. It is also important to realize that nature can connect us to our past, and demonstrative of cultural importance. She uses examples of historically significant landscapes that emphasize their aesthetic value.

Her overall idea is that delving into aesthetic philosophy encourages environmentalist behavior, as well as an appreciation for nature. Over, she believes that nature’s aesthetic appeal can serve as motivation for humankind to perform our ethical responsibilities.



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