Eco-philosophy is “ecological” in the broadest sense: it sees humanity as one with nature, as an integral part of the process of evolution which carries the universe onward from matter to life, to consciousness, and ultimately to divine.
The central concept of eco-philosophy is “The World as Sanctuary”. This is offered as an alternative to the Newtonian/Cartesian vision of “World as a Machine”. This new worldview emphasizes the unique, precious, and sacred nature of our planet. All other principles of eco-philosophy follow from this one.
The five key tenets of eco-philosophy are:
1) The world is a sanctuary.
2) Reverence for life is our guiding value.
3) Frugality is a precondition for inner happiness.
4) Spirituality and rationality do not exclude each other, but complement each other.
5) In order to heal the planet, we must heal ourselves.
Eco-philosophy arose in response to the failings of both the mechanistic worldview and the impotent linguistic/analytic philosophy that came from it. These failings are evident in our violent and selfish attitudes toward fellow humans, and in our widespread abuse of the environment.
Eco-philosophy is philosophy as it should be — meaningful, relevant, and participatory. It is not the stuff of dusty library books, but rather a thoughtful, contemporary approach to understanding the world, and ourselves.
Find other interesting articles, essays and internet resources with the links below:
An Elephant Crackup
By CHARLES SIEBERT
Published in the New York Times, October 8, 2006
Freya Mathews’ website Freya Mathews is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at La Trobe University, Australia.She is the author of two outstanding books on Ecophilosophy.