Nature, Peter Coates: Max Kerns


General Quotes and Ideas:

p. 1 – Nature is often presumed to be an objective reality with universal qualities unaffected by considerations of time, culture and place, an assumption especially evident in appeals to nature as a source of external authority.

So nature itself is a perspective of the cultures that directly interact with it. So that is changes throughout time due to cultural interaction and political motives.

p. 2 – the stages of emergence of dualistic, or so-called ‘homocentric’ and ‘anthropocentric’, thinking

p. 3 – Five historically important categories

                1. Nature as a physical place.

                2. Nature as a collective phenomena of the world or universe.

                3. Nature as an essence.

                4. Nature as an inspiration.

                5. Nature as the conceptual opposite of culture.

p. 5 – This is an interesting concept when dealing with Lucretius’s view, how we are connected to nature but the mind then allows us to perceive this nature we are part of. Curiously makes me wonder how many other species are aware of their place in nature.

p. 29 – Interesting idea as the Pythagoreans see all living creatures as having rational thought.

p. 37 – This is a very interesting transition, from “tenderness towards wildlife” (Greek) to the natural world being controlled by human, for consumption and entertainment (Roman).

p. 49 – The separation of human and nature, human rose above and separated from the natural world. What is particularly fascinating to me is that it suggests God transcends as well as human being made in God’s form.

p. 62 – The idea of technology and the effects it has on attitudes towards nature. There is this concept of humans becoming the exploiters of nature.

p. 75-76 – Descartes, ideas on thinking and existence, with animals not truly in existence but automata, no more able to sense pleasure and pain than a basic clock.   I just think this is an interesting perspective as my clock does not scream when I drop it from the nightstand. I also wonder why the break with animals when the connections were so powerful.  Possibly, p. 80 – we see that it was typically a bad time to go against the word of God, so therefor to make nature fallen, and needing to be rescued this allowed for science to get a foothold.

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