Friday, February 3, 2017
Schelling's contributions to environmental philosophy: nature as process rather than thing
Iain Hamilton Grant wrote a great article "The Law of Insuperable Environment: What is Exhibited in the Exhibition of the Process of Nature?" covering the "nature as container" problem. Meaning, as a problem of nominalization and location how does one refer to nature if nature is no-thing. But even if nature is not any "thing" then nor could nature be a process nor multiple individuated processes. So what then *is* nature? Grant's response is that nature is process rather than processes, and while language often slips into the language of nominalization it is Schelling's articulation of the problem and its solution which works best.
I discovered this article in preparing my upcoming unit on philosophical ecology in the Environmental Philosophy class that I am currently teaching. How does the whole relate to the parts if the whole is itself not a part nor a thing? Grant's article summed up alot of points I'd like to make in class.