Over the past decade a shift can be noticed from ecological restoration to ecological design, where ecological design stands for a technocratic approach that courts hubris and mastery rather than humility and self-restraint. Following Eric Higgs, this shift can be seen as a “hyperactive and heedless response“ to global environmental change, especially climate change. The new technocratic approach may be best characterized as enlightened (or prudential) anthropocentrism, where nature is only allowed that degree of agency which is required to deliver the services that are essential for human well-being. It is not only questionable if we have the scientific and technical abilities to purposeful design ecosystems that will serve our needs, but also if the new approach will be sufficient to protect biodiversity in the long run.
Measuring Biocentric Human-Nature Rights and Human–Nature Development in Ecuador
Johannes M. Waldmüller
Drawing on the first attempt worldwide to implement human rights indicators at the national level in Ecuador (2009–2014), as well as on a critical review of the uneasy relationship between human rights and human development discourses, this article calls into question the prefix “human” in contemporary human development and human rights thinking. By alternating case study and reflection, it argues that a systemic and biocentric focus on human–nature relationships, extending the concepts of capabilities and functionings to ecosystems and human–nature interactions, is important for designing adequate tools for human–nature development, monitoring and for moving beyond ascribing merely instrumental value to nature. In order to shift the common understanding of human rights and human development from anthropocentric frameworks toward a more realistic biocentric focus, a focus on life as such is proposed, including inherent moments of arising and passing that express the necessary limitations to all human conduct and striving.
Bryan L. Moore
Early science fiction (SF) is noted for, among other things, its conservatism and lack of interest in ecology. Brian Stableford, a well-known SF writer and critic, writes that "there are very few early stories with ecological themes" (1993, 395). This article shows that, in fact, many early SF works (those written between the Enlightenment and World War II) employ ecological themes, especially as applied to questioning our anthropocentrism. These works suggest that humans are but one species among many, that we are not the end of nature/history, that the natural world may be better off without us, and, in some cases, that humanity is fated to go extinct, the result of its own hubris. Such views are undoubtedly pessimistic, yet these works may also be read as warnings for humans to seek a more humble view of ourselves as members of what Aldo Leopold calls the land community.
Witnessing the End of the World in Cormac McCarthy's The Road
Cormac McCarthy's The Road can be read as part of the burgeoning field of climate fiction. This article examines the way that environmental anxiety manifests in this text not only through the vision of a future earth that has been devastated, but, as I will argue, at a more symbolic and allegorical level through the metaphoric place of vision, sight, and blindness. Interrogating the metaphor of vision is central to considering this text as climate fiction because it positions the human as the chosen witness to the end of the world. This article examines the anthropocentrism at the heart of McCarthy's text, and reflects on the place of the human in broader debates about anthropogenic climate change.
Locating Carysfort to Reconcile our Human Relationship with a Coral Reef
Through an ecocinema lens, an unconventional corpus of photographs of Carysfort Reef, one of seven iconic coral reefs along the Florida Reef Tract, represents something of an extreme time-lapse series. In the absence of a cohesive underwater documentary record at the time when the Florida Reef Tract is undergoing the most extensive reef restoration in the world, speculation allows us to search for patterns in damaged places with incomplete information and practice a form of multispecies storytelling of our encounters. Taken in 1966, 2003, 2014, and 2019, these images are evidence of cultural moments in our changing relationship with this reef in the context of anthropocentrism, the emergence of an alternative environment spectatorship of awareness, and a baseline for localized social change.
Climate Change and the Cinematic Ethics of Immersive Filmworlds
Ludo de Roo
, the ethical aspect of this elemental imagination needs more illumination. To start with, Sam Mickey suggests how elemental imagination helps us to escape a persistent debate in environmental ethics, which is the question of anthropocentrism and eco
Tracing a Transdisciplinary Focal Concept
Melissa M. Parks
decentering anthropocentrism and problematizing its inherent hierarchies, and thereby promoting more holistic human-human and human-ecology relationships. Explicating a Focal Concept Chaffee noted that explications vary from standard definitions. His
Olusegun Steven Samuel and Ademola Kazeem Fayemi
anthropocentrism. However, it does not adequately dissolve its excesses – human chauvinism. The extreme aspect of strong anthropocentrism favours human interests by ranking and placing humanity over anything else. Behrens, for instance, points out that in AE
Human–Animal Relationships in the Middle East
Marjan Mashkour and Anahita Grisoni
relativity of categories like animal treatment, animal welfare or even ‘animals’ and about the asymmetric anthropocentrism generated by each society. Theoretical work in the Middle East is still in its infancy while the geographic area is in constant turnover
A Self-Ethnography from Italy
anthropocentrism. Personally, I did not celebrate the lockdown as a chance for personal growth and achievements; I have been sceptical of our capacity to become better people and societies. To me, the pandemic looks more like an abyss than a portal ( Roy 2020 ). As