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On Nature And Culture In Zhou China

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows early China developed (a) the notion of nature as a realm distinct from that of human culture which has its own rationale, (b) a non-intentional view of nature, and (c) an objectivating attitude towards nature, as well as (d) a critique of this attitude. The framework in which these steps took place was, in the widest sense of the term, an ethical one; it characteristically did not presuppose, and even excluded, an interest in anything like natural science. Furthermore, the school of Confucianism discovered clearly positive sides to the subjugation of nature, seeing in it the presupposition of all culture. Ecological thinking has not merely to overcome a Western mentality of the subjugation of nature. The problem is at the very core of human civilization, China being no exception.

Keywords: Confucianism; culture; Ecological thinking; nature; Zhou China



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