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Nature (and Politics)

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Abstract:

This paper addresses the leitmotif of Alan Holland's work, which is argued here to be a defence of the existence and worth of nonhuman nature. Definitions of politics have always depended on the idea of nature as a contrasting non-political realm, usually turning on the centrality of speech. Referencing the work of Aristotle, Kant and Bentham, I suggest that the instability of the distinction between the human and the nonhuman means that politics, as 'thing and activity', must itself be unstable. The question of whether there can be a politics without nature is explored through an analysis of the work of Latour, and the conclusion is reached that listening may well be just as important as speaking.

Keywords: Aristotle; Bentham; Kant; Latour; communication; democracy; nature

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327108X303891

Publication date: May 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2011) of 1.467.
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