Hegel and Marx on Nature and Ecology

Journal of Philosophical Research 22:145-179 (1997)
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Abstract

While neither Hegel nor Marx can be called “ecologists” in any strict sense of the term, they both present views of the human-nature relationship which offer important insights for contemporary debates in philosophical ecology. Further, while Marx and Engels began a tradition of sharply distinguishing their own views of nature from those of Hegel, careful examination reveals a substantial commonality of sentiment. The essay compares Hegel and Marx (and Engels) in terms of their basic conceptions of nature, their critiques of Romanitic nature-worship, their notions of how a meaningful unity with nature requires the act of socially transforming nature, their respective calls for a new science of nature, and their attitudes towards technology. I argue that we can uncover a largely shared humanistic orientation toward nature, and I situate this view within contemporary debates about the anthropocentric or non-anthropocentric foundation of ecological thinking

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Daniel Berthold
Bard College

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