Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nature Vs. Locality

This is coming up as a serious dichotomy in eco-ontological studies lately, as Morton (Dark Ecology) I think rightly points out that localistic eco-movements have nothing to say about how we're supposed to deal with things like Fukushima, macroeconomics, international relations and global warming. But...

I was just noticing how even though "natural" and "local" aren't supposed to mean literally the same thing, yet they do mean the same thing in terms of the images and the warm, fuzzy feeling of reliance and belonging they conjure. Even though knowledge of a local area can include knowledge of things like ecosystems, herbalism, fishing, etc., what "local knowledge" is usually said to mean are things like directions to places, which people to talk to about what, local customs, etc...

When did we get to be a society where it's required to assume that knowledge of "nature" is so different from "local" knowledge? Was it 200 years ago with Kant? Was it 12,500 years ago with Mesopotamia? Just yesterday? Hasn't even happened yet?

I think the answer to that may be up to us.

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