Tagged: Nature

Nature, Ecology, and the Environment

There is no “original” state in nature, no nature-in-itself in the sense that a fixed set of characteristics holds true, like the law of gravity, always and everywhere. Nature resembles less a law than a story. And the story is not over. Thus to inquire of nature is to inquire of time, of circumstance and of contingency. What was natural three billion years ago – an empire of anaerobic bacteria – would strike most of us as decidedly unnatural today. Ecology The word originates from the Greek root oikos, “at home”, and *ology, “the study of something.” Haeckle, (1870), defined...

The Earth Charter

The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action. The Earth Charter is concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. The Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development,...

Pacific Gardens

This is part two of my travel report through the Pacific Northwest. One of my goals for this trip was to visit several gardens. The climate along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington is mediterranean: warm, sunny, with mild winters, and plenty of moist air from the ocean – in other words, the region is ideal for gardening! In this post I will share some pictures, and will briefly describe some of the gardens I visited. About Gardens Gardens are among the most interesting places in the world. They mediate our relationship with nature, and they are expressions of culture and human...

You are my Creator, but I am your Master.

“Nature” has different meanings: It is the horizon of civilization, it is the material from which everything is made, and it is the origin to which everything wants to return. By “nature” we also mean the basic form which determines what something is. Aristotle thought that this natural form also determines the purpose something has. And finally, we human beings have a nature too – but how do we define it?

Ecological Thinking?

Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and their environment. One can even think about the human race in ecological terms, and this form of thinking is vital if we want to have a future. If we let our thinking transgress the boundaries of scientific disciplines, ecology becomes philosophy enhanced with information. Ecology stands for our relationship with nature. Philosophers have thought about this question  for a long time, but now the debate is no longer academic, it has become very urgent because it threatens our survival. We have to throw out distinctions that have worked well for a...