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Reframing Tacit Human-Nature Relations: An Inquiry into Process Philosophy and the Philosophy of Michael Polanyi

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To combat the ecological crisis, fundamental change is required in how humans perceive nature. This paper proposes that the human-nature bifurcation, a metaphysical mental model that is deeply entrenched and may be environmentally unsound, stems from embodied and tacitly-held substance-biased belief systems. Process philosophy can aid us, among other things, in providing an alternative framework for reinterpreting this bifurcation by drawing an ontological bridge between humans and nature, thus providing a coherent philosophical basis for sustainable dwelling and policy-making. Michael Polanyi's epistemology can further help us understand these environmentally-oriented tacit processes of knowing, and also provide a basis for the political and educational implementation of process-philosophical insights, particularly via the nudging of mental models.
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Keywords: Process metaphysics; environmental policy; nudging; sustainability; tacit knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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 a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 1.933. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.493.
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