The Decline of Nature : Environmental History and the Western Worldview

Gilbert Lafreniere

Verlag: Academica Press, 2007
ISBN 10: 1933146400 / ISBN 13: 9781933146409
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Inhaltsangabe: This work is a radical rethinking of the key currents of intellectual and environmental history. The Decline of Nature is an account of Western attitudes and behavior toward nature, from the deforestation of Western Europe during the High Middle Ages through the Scientific Revolution and the technological exploitation of nature in the 19th and 20th centuries, and on to the Environmental Movement. The destruction of European and colonial ecosystems parallels the rise of modern mechanistic science and a science-based idea of progress which has been perverted by economic ideologies into a belief in unlimited development of nature-as-resources into the amenities of the consumer society. Ecosystems and species diversity have declined to isolated and shrinking remnants subject to further degradation due to global warming resulting from human intervention in global climate cycles. These massive changes will have a catastrophic effect upon evolutionary processes, mankind and the survival of the Earth. The Decline of Nature is an environmental history of ideas embedded in a compact account of Western civilization s ecological impact upon the planet, particularly in Europe and its colonies. The major thesis presented is the idea that two speculative philosophies of history (attempts to understand the meaning of history) and their associated worldviews have been largely responsible for destructive attitudes and behaviors towards nature. They include the idea of providence (i.e. the Christian worldview) and the idea of progress (the science and technology-based vision of unrestrained economic development and material accumulation since the 17th century). Some scholars understand the idea of progress as a secularization of the Christian millennium, the creation of a new Eden through science and technology. A third, alternative philosophy of history, the idea of history as multiple cycles of civilizations rising, flourishing, and declining, was popular in both classes.

Academica Press is an independent scholarly press specializing in publishing monographs and reference material in the humanities and social sciences. We are particularly interested in producing works of scholarly interest English language studies, literary history and criticism ,drama, sociology, education and Irish studies. (Our dedicated imprint, Maunsel & Co., specializes in scholarly research in Irish studies.) We have recently developed projects in African and Afro-American research areas as well as Theology and Legal Studies.

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Über den Autor: Gilbert LaFreniere is a graduate of Williams College and holds a Ph.D from UCSB. He has for many years been a senior professor of Environmental Sciences and History at Willamette University in Salem,Oregon. He is also a trained geologist with service in the USCGS.

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Titel: The Decline of Nature : Environmental ...
Verlag: Academica Press
Erscheinungsdatum: 2007
Zustand: very good

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