Nature by Coates part 1: Brad Brodek

‘Nature’ is a historical book talking about the history in a western view, by both talking about human attitudes on it and also our impacts on nature. In his writing it seemed like he really didn’t have any argument or a point, but to state facts, which was what normally is done in historical books. One thing Coates says is that nature has not been happy with us and human, but he feels like everyone including nature could be happy if humans just followed the rules. A point he tries to make is nature can be viewed at in many different ways and that all depends on who you are and what nature has to offer you. I believe this to be true because someone like me who likes the nature, has all been apart of it and has use of it views it differently then some of my friends who don’t have these same thoughts and uses. This has to do with values of nature which also goes along with point of view because like that different people have different values. Some may not need the nature for anything and never ever goes and gets away in it, whereas some people might use it for work, study and more importantly in my mind a place of freedom and enjoyment. He divides the understanding of nature into five categories:

1.nature as a physical place

2. nature as the collective phenomena of the world or universe

3. nature as an essence, quality, and/or principle that informs the workings of the world or universe

4. nature as an inspiration, guide and authority

5. nature as the conceptual opposite of culture

“nature as a physical place; nature as the collective phenomena of the world or universe; nature as an essence, quality, and/or principle that informs the workings of the world or universe; nature as an inspiration and guide… and source of authority; and nature as the conceptual opposite of culture” (pg 3)

He is saying there are many different ways to understand nature and these are five different ways you can look at it and get different feelings. These seems to be one of his main ideas in the first half of the book.

One thing i thought was very interesting was the history of deforestation and how it was such a problem in the early 1900s because i never knew this. Another was Scottish moors, often thought of as an untameable wilderness, were actually created by human destruction of the forest there.

Quotes:

“Nature, like us, has a history.”

“Why kill gods creations if he put it on this planet for a reason”

“nature as the universe and the cosmos in the broadest possible sense can be traced to ancient Greece and Rome” (4).

“Everyone would be happy including nature if we just followed the rules.” (pg 5)

“Humans are part of nature in so far as we rely on it for food, water, and shelter and have the same bodily functions as other creatures.” (pg 7)

“We have not made the natural world but we have, in a sense, created nature” (pg 9)

“By transforming nature from a living organism into a machine – simple, unfeeling, inert matter with no intelligence, soul or purpose – the new mechanistic philosophy assisted the commodification of nature and fueled the cancerous ethic of growthism” (pg 68)

 

 

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