Kelvin Smith Library celebrates scholarship at Case Western Reserve University by recognizing faculty authors in the Case School of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Weatherhead School of Management who have written or edited books.
Predictions about global climate change have produced both stark scenarios of environmental catastrophe and purportedly pragmatic ideas about adaptation. This book takes a different perspective, exploring the idea that the challenge of adapting to global climate change is fundamentally an ethical one, that it is not simply a matter of adapting our infrastructures and economies to mitigate damage but rather of adapting ourselves to realities of a new global climate. The challenge is to restore our conception of humanity -- to understand human flourishing in new ways -- in an age in which humanity shapes the basic conditions of the global environment. In the face of what we have unintentionally done to Earth's ecology, who shall we become? The contributors examine ways that new realities will require us to revisit and adjust the practice of ecological restoration; the place of ecology in our conception of justice; the form and substance of traditional virtues and vices; and the organizations, scale, and underlying metaphors of important institutions. Topics discussed include historical fidelity in ecological restoration; the application of capability theory to ecology; the questionable ethics of geoengineering; and the cognitive transformation required if we are to "think like a planet."
Written as a series of lectures, The Ecological Life offers a humanistic perspective on environmental philosophy that challenges some of the dogmas of deep ecology and radical environmentalism while speaking for their best desires. The book argues that being human-centered leaves us open to ecological identifications, rather than the opposite. Bendik-Keymer draws on analytic and continental traditions of philosophy as well as literature and visual media. He argues for a sense of ecological justice consonant with human rights, and shows how humanistic thinking is committed to deepening respect for life and our ecological orientation. In a clear, jargon-free and conversational tone, The Ecological Life presents a timely and important contribution to civic engagement in an ecological century. Visit our website for sample chapters!
"I sat on the floor with students last night, revising their semester-long work. Harried and laughing, once near tears, they tumbled out of the system with no time to lose. And we are like that, we post-students, with our home improvements and loan improvements, our tasks, competition, and dinners. We tumble out of life with barely time to lose. The Earth's lost in all this. So it is really on us, really our thing, to build in time to think about the Earth. If we don't put the Earth into our school systems, students will cascade beyond it. And so, too, with the big people, we so-called adults, who are supposed to be responsible for our generation.""I need a literature that speaks to me and makes me feel at home on Earth -neither philosophy which argues, nor poetry that wishes, nor religion preaching. A voice like a family member's, reflective at the pace of Earth time, arising with the part of us that isn't destructive or blind."--Two aphorisms from the sixth, year-long study of Solar CalendarWhat would it take to write a philosophy book that acts like knowing a person, rather than a cookie-cutter piece of abstract theory? Six studies comprise Solar Calendar: family portrait, parodic essay, time-capsule poem, exploded essay, poetic record of an act, aphorism journal for a year. Each is like a musical study --something practiced and embodied, rather than a piece of detached knowledge. Their methods could be couched within Pierre Hadot's excavation of philosophy as a way of life rather than a scholastic or technical endeavor, Michel Foucault's attempt to develop an ethics of self-formation, and Jacques Rancière's critique of the academy as an essentially exclusive mode of hegemonic intelligence. But their inspiration is more homely --from Epictetus' notebooks, Tarkovski's Mirror, or Apollinaire's roving "Zone." The six studies in Solar Calendar are exercises in ecology -the study of home- that take their departure from specific rifts, or schisms, that generate the problems of the writing. Throughout, there is a back and forth parallel between ecological tensions and tensions within families, as if the fissures in love and in society wash back and forth into each other. The personal and the political intersect. Philosophy arises as a homely and democratic practice of multiple forms of intuition, reflection and intelligence for muddling through life. Often the contemporary academy -that industrial and technical form- is among the main problems, or blocks, to wisdom. And so Solar Calendar envisions a form of philosophy that is closer to the kind of learning Kierkegaard called "upbuilding" and which less pretentiously we might simply call personal. In the words of an early passage,"What I'm trying to say is that philosophy comes from families, too. There is a tendency to view philosophy as the outgrowth of raw intelligence, or rebellion, or as a sublime art that some initiates have learned how to practice. I want you to understand how philosophy comes from home. The ideas start in the kitchen."Genuine ideas about living -the useful ones- are expressions of the fact that people are complex and that our complexity could become beautiful if given time, space, and challenges. The book of becoming is not always quiet, but sometimes becoming is the quietest thing, and our complexity is the most mundane unfolding, as the sea absorbs the sky and the sky absorbs the sea in their lapping, eddying movements."In the kitchen, quiet, settled after school and long before night begins, with parents elsewhere and light coming in through the broad window by the side road, you might find yourself thinking unexpectedly, surprised by a sense of the world. This is the world's childhood, and it comes to you around the kitchen's things, around the bowl of peaches, apples, and plums. "Here, it is complex -your family, its brokenness. Here, it is possible too: the mending out of the backdrop, the allowance, of love."