What is nature? Where do these ideas come from and how do they unfold?
ex) Paradigms vary over time and cultures moving from material to abstract conceptualizations (Coates) – “sticky” ideas that endure. Bio-physical space – unspoiled natural environment which is ruled by laws (physics, evolution, God) and can be threatened by human activity; what man has not made. A collective phenomena which includes or excludes humans – comic setting for human life where man is part of nature through his physical body but set apart by his mind to investigate the workings of nature (Lucretian view) vs. a creative force/goddess whose moral purpose and meaning is independent of mankind (Mother Nature). A built in essence / quality / principle / characteristics that informs the workings of the world. Nature as instructor – an inspiration / source of authority in governing human affairs; laws formulated by specific groups and influenced with values, ideals, particular visions and agendas. Conceptual opposite of culture – Man has fallen from grace is now corrupted by institutions vs. creation of laws and civilizations to rise above barbaric interactions. Socially constructed (“Society of Nature”) – inhabited and influenced by culture, beliefs, psychology, religion, economies
How do people think about/experience nature?
ex)Dichotomies: Man/culture vs. nature; Human vs. non-human; Wild vs. tame (scrub grasslands vs. gardens); Natural vs. artificial
Primal – pure, savage, uncivilized
Authenticity – simplicity, purity
Spatial – untrammeled; pristine; dominion
Connections – exploitation and dominion; love and pleasure; power and knowledge
Supernatural – spiritual, mystical powers
Iconography – dogs, ravens
Shamanism – wolfman
Hybrids – centaurs, werewolves, Frankenstein, cyborgs
Why is it important?
ex)Affects historical, social, political, cultural, economic relations between peoples and their environments and the laws / policies created to govern these interactions