The nature of man's blind zone

A GOOD NATURE? In the philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen's new book, the environmental problems are a symptom that our thinking is completely wrong. May we perhaps open ourselves to the fact that everything around us is the soul?

Philosopher. Permanent literary critic in MODERN TIMES. Translator.
Published: 2020-03-04
Cosmologies of the Anthropocene
Author: Arne-Johan Vetlesen Routledge
, United Kingdom

Like Vetlesen's previous international release The Denial of Nature (2015) puts this book into an unusual philosophical argument in dialogue with contemporary environmental thinkers and environmental philosophyeven classics. Where the previous book ends with the question of nature's soul and self-will, the discussion in Cosmologies of the Anthropocene. The starting point is Freya Mathews # 'ecological revitalization of the term panpsychism in the book #The Ecological Self# (1991).

Pan-psychism is the view that the psyche or soul is everywhere and in everything. Like Mathews, Vetlesen seeks a spontaneous closeness to the surroundings of people living in pre-modern ways - explored and reported within anthropology and its latest theoretical developments.

Among other things, he goes to Philippe Descola, who discusses the question of various cosmologies, understood as living truth systems. He also draws on psychological and psychoanalytic theories that describe a loss of contact with nature, various forms of culturally learned blindness.

Species, processes and nutrients have value as part of an ecosystem.

Vetlesen's hypothesis is that it is this one alienationone that makes the idea that everything is full of spirit - as both children and animist cultures seem to take for granted - seems foreign to us.

The value of nature is objective

Vetlesen's book, however, is far more than a poetic appeal for a sympathetic relationship with nature. Systematically and objectively, he agrees to get to the bottom of the matter - almost literally. Because do we really know what it is, what we call matter? Does it make sense to separate matter from spirit or consciousness, as Descartes did? Among the more provocative claims along the way in this rather technical discussion is that we do not understand our own consciousness precisely because we misunderstand matter - what we call the "outer nature". When we see everything outside the human being as dead matter and objects, or as more or less soulless "living things", we suffer from scientific prejudice - a misunderstood intellectual abstraction.

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Vetlesen will not only establish a…

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