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Download Changing our Environment, Changing Ourselves: Nature, by James S. Ormrod PDF

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By James S. Ormrod

In this ebook, a party of the paintings of the sociologist Peter Dickens serves because the catalyst for exploring the connection among human ‘internal nature’ (our wellbeing and fitness and mental future health) and ‘external nature’ (the setting on which we rely and which we jointly transform). throughout contributions from Ted Benton, James Ormrod, Kate Soper, John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark, Graham Sharp, James Addicott, Kathryn Dean and Peter Dickens himself, the ebook attracts cognizance to alienation linked to the promoting of alternative knowledges in overdue capitalist construction. however it additionally highlights the chances for producing much less alienated family with our surroundings sooner or later. in addition to discussing the philosophical and theoretical matters concerned, the publication comprises modern case reviews of ultra-processed foodstuff, satellite tv for pc farming, computerised considering and darkish tourism.

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Extra info for Changing our Environment, Changing Ourselves: Nature, Labour, Knowledge and Alienation

Example text

Of course, not everyone was absorbed into this pervasive intellectual atmosphere. Feminists, especially, were often wary of Marxism’s seeming indifference to specifically gendered dimensions of exclusion and oppression. Even those who struggled to find their place within the legacy were deeply divided as to how much of it and which bits of it remained of value by the latter part of the twentieth century. Often radicalised by the horrors of the wars in south-east Asia and American imperialism more generally, the young leftists of that time were not attracted by the state centralist regimes of ‘actually existing’ communism as their vision of a just and peaceful alternative.

As Marx himself came to recognise, Darwinian evolutionary theory provides a counterpoint in the natural sciences for historical materialism in the social sciences. Dickens has drawn extensively from evolutionary theory in grasping the living dimensions of ‘external’ nature, and well as using it to understand ‘internal nature’—that is, human nature itself. This has been Dickens’s distinctive emphasis, and it is a particularly precarious and challenging association for social scientists to make. The history of ‘scientific racism’, eugenics and reductionist views of gender and sexual orientation, all appealing to validation by Darwinism, is a daunting and discouraging legacy.

275) Where the distinctive human attributes of intellectual labour are coopted by capital, even this limited form of compensation is denied by the incessant and intrusive demands of the flexible firm.  Cillario, for whom the new work relations affect ‘the very psycho-cognitive structure of the individual’, so that work becomes ‘reflexive self-exploitation’ (cited in Toscano 2007). The argument is rendered more powerful by extending the scope of human capacities that are brought into the analysis.

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