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Contact with Nature as Essential to the Human Experience

Reflections on Pandemic Confinement

Alan E. Kazdin and Pablo Vidal-González

Human contact with nature now is a luxury or pastime for many, which of course is odd given our evolutionary origins. We evolved completely in nature in virtually every possible way for food, clothing, living quarters, but also walking

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Nature’s Market?

A Review of Organic Certification

Shaila Seshia Galvin

As organic food becomes more widely available, great faith is placed on the seal or logo that certifies organic status. This article treats the mark of certification as a starting rather than an end point, critically reviewing literature from diverse national and regional contexts. Exploring questions concerning the extent to which organic certification assists or undermines the goal of ecological sustainability, abets the advance of large-scale agricultural capital, and supports the livelihood of smallholder farmers, the article considers the theoretical foundations, methodologies and modes of inquiry that have guided studies of organic agriculture and certification. It brings this research into conversation with literatures on audit cultures, quality, and with ongoing nature-culture debates. Through critical review of the literature and the author's extensive fieldwork with organic smallholders in northern India, the article suggests possible directions in which the literature may be expanded and advanced.

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Constanza Parra and Casey Walsh

the last few hundred years, human-nature systems are in danger of collapse. Surface and sub-soil water resources are drastically overtaxed and the ecosystems that they support are collapsing. The destruction of habitat is causing a wave of extinctions

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The Unrealized Potential of Body-Reflexive Practices

Intimations of a New Materialism

Steve Garlick

materialisms. I am most interested in new materialist work that reconceives nature as a dynamic and creative force that informs and is a part of our social and cultural life. I suggest that further development of the concept of body-reflexive practices

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The Continent Behind

Alienation and the American Scene in George William Curtis’s Lotus-Eating: A Summer Book

James Weaver

midcentury American tourism and conceptions of nature. For instance, in his discussion of nineteenth-century tourist attractions in Sacred Places , John F. Sears acknowledges Curtis alongside writers like Bayard Taylor and Nathaniel Parker Willis, who also

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Daniel O'Shiel

nature and differences of the three concepts, as well as some consequences of trying to account for them within an existential framework such as Sartre's. Considering these goals, the article is broken up into four main sections. First I will review the

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Raw Data

Making Relations Matter

Antonia Walford

perspective. This also provides a vantage point from which to rethink the way that facts and relations might themselves relate to ideas of nature and culture. I will start by reiterating an observation that has been made several times (including in the

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Facing a Toxic Object

Nuclear Waste Management and its Challenges for Nature-Culture-Relationships

Christiane Schürkmann

, between nature and culture, this contribution aims to discuss HLW in the context of nuclear waste management policy as a critical toxic object — an object with an activity identified and problematized as toxic and with the potential to challenge human

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Robyn Eckersley and Jean-Paul Gagnon

Modern environmentalism, whose genesis tracks mainly from the 1960s and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), has forced the anthropocentric emphasis of democracy to account. Nonhuman actors like trees, ecological systems, and the climate have increasingly become anthropomorphized by humans representing these actors in politics. Aside from challenges to the anthropocentric concepts of citizenship, political representation, agency, and boundaries in democratic theory, environmentalism has warned of apocalyptic crises. This drives a different kind of challenge to mainly liberal democracies. Scientists and activists are becoming increasingly fed up with the seeming incompetence, slowness, and idiocy of politicians, interest groups, and electors. Eyes start to wander to that clean, well-kempt, and fast-acting gentleman called authoritarianism. The perfect shallowness of his appearance mesmerizes like a medusa those that would usually avoid him. Serfdom increasingly looks like a palpable trade-off to keep the “green” apocalypses at bay. Democracy’s only answer to this challenge is to evolve into a cleverer version of itself.

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Susan L. Smith

This project reveals the false conceptual space within which the contemporary debate about the nature of race is taking place. There is an implied spectrum within philosophical discussions of the nature of race that ranges from purely biological accounts of race to purely socially constructed accounts of race. In reality, no account of race can be given which exists at either extreme of the spectrum. The same discussion also applies to accounts of ethnicity. Ethnicity, though typically thought of as a non-biological entity, can be shown to be the result of a combination of nature and nurture or biological and social effects. In this project I examine six contemporary positions on race and ethnicity and illustrate how each makes the assumption that race and ethnicity are two distinct concepts. These positions include those proposed by Naomi Zack, Sally Haslanger, Joshua Glasgow, Linda Martin Alcoff, Robin Andreasen and Jorge J. E. Gracia.