Exploring ways of conceiving the complexity and multiplicity of humans’ many interactive relationships with the environment, the contributors provide in-depth case studies of the interweaving of culture and nature in socio-historical processes. The case studies focus on the origin of environmental movements, the politicization of environmental issues in city politics, the development of a local energy production system, and the convergence of forest management practices toward a dominant scheme. They are supported by explorations of big-picture issues: recurring themes in studies of social and environmental dynamics, the difficulties of deliberative democracy, and the potential gains for socio-ecological research offered by developmental systems theory and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of intentionality.
How Nature Speaks includes a helpful primer, “On Thinking Dynamically about the Human Ecological Condition,” which explains the basic principles of complexity and nonlinear thinking.
Contributors. Chuck Dyke, Yrjö Haila, Ari Jokinen, Ville Lähde, Markus Laine, Iordanis Marcoulatos, John O’Neill, Susan Oyama, Taru Peltola, Lasse Peltonen, John Shotter, Peter Taylor
About the Author
Yrjö Haila is Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Tampere in Finland. Among his books are Humanity and Nature (with Richard Levins) and several books in Finnish.
Chuck Dyke is Professor of Philosophy at Temple University. He is the author of The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complex Systems and Through the Genetic Maze.
Table of ContentsPreface vii
ntroduction: What to Say about Nature’s “Speech” / Yrjo Haila and Chuck Dyke 1
Speaking of Nature / Susan Oyama 49
Natural Speech: A Hoary Story / Chuck Dyke 66
Gardens, Climate Changes, and Cultures: An Exploration into the Historical Nature of Environmental Problems / Ville Lähde 78
Participative Thinking: “Seeing the Face” and “Hearing the Voice” of Nature / John Shotter 106
Rethinking Intentionality: A Bourdieuian Perspective/ Iordanis Marcoulatos 127
Fluids on the Move: An Analogical Account of Environmental Mobilization / Lasse Peltonen 150
Fight Over the Face of Tampere: A Sneaking Transformation of a Local Political Field / Markus Laine 177
Stand/ardization and Entrainment in Forest Management / Ari Jokinen 198
Calculating the Futures: Stability and Change in a Local Energy Production System / Taru Peltola 218
Exploring Themes about Social Agency through Interpretation of Diagrams of Nature and Society / Peter Taylor 235
Who Speaks for Nature? / John O’Neill 261
Appendix: Primer: On Thinking Dynamically about the Human Ecological Condition / Chuck Dyke 279
Notes on Contributors 323
What People are Saying About This
“How to make nature speak? Whoever thought that the gravity of the current ecological problems leaves us no choice but to try and manage nature as best as we can is well advised to read this book. This fine collection gives us profound insights into the complex ways in which nature and the social are interwoven. Nature is not out there; it is present in every category we use to try and understand our environment. A product of years of scholarship, this is a welcome contribution to the literature.”
“What? Another book on ecology and how we are messing up the world? Is this book really necessary? This is not just another book on ecology. It is a book about how to think about ecology. Philosophical explorations, metaphorical musings, case histories of community action seen in the light of systems dynamics, and mathematical exposition of non-linear dynamics in clear intuitive terms all converge to help us see the richness of ecology as the paradigmatic science for understanding complexity. And yes, this book is necessary.”