Convergence with Nature
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Convergence with Nature : A Daoist Perspective

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Description

In this book David E. Cooper explores our relationship to nature - to animals, to plants, to natural places - and asks how it can be shaped into an appropriate one which contributes to the good of people's lives as a whole. Religions and philosophies have much to say about our relationship with nature, and Chinese Daoist philosophy has long been regarded as among those most sympathetic to the natural world. Daoists seek an attunement to the Dao (the Way) which is characterized by a sense of flow (water being a favourite metaphor), spontaneity, non-interference, humility and patience - virtues which contrast with the aggressive and exploitative values which characterize a modern world increasingly subject to economic imperatives.



Like the best of contemporary nature writing, the classic Daoist texts reveal a yearning for convergence with nature, nostalgia for a lost intimacy with the natural world, disillusion with humanity or its products, and a feeling for nature's mystery. The author explains how these attitudes are rooted in Daoist philosophy and explores their implications for our practical engagement with natural environments. He discusses, too, a number of ethical issues - including hunting, intensive farming, and environmental activism - that reflective people need to address in their efforts to heal our relationship with the Earth.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 12.95mm | 244.94g
  • Totnes, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0857840231
  • 9780857840233
  • 70,517

Table of contents

1 Orientation



Nature writing



Some modern moods



Philosophy's roles







2 Why Daoism?



Nature and people in Chinese art



In a Daoist key



Daoist moods







3 Religion, technology, estrangement



Theology and `the ecological crisis'



A philosopher's hut



Daoism, technology and estrangement



`Letting-be'







4 Estrangement, environmentalism and `otherness'



Rhetoric and reality



Nature's `otherness'







5 Nature in Daoism



`Nature': some connected senses



Nature as educator



Nature and virtue







6 On the Way (1): dao, world and unity



Dao, God, nature and nothing



Dao, experience and world



Self, world and the unity of things







7 On the Way (2): de, virtues and sages



De and the myriad things



`Profound de' and human virtues



The Daoist sage







8 Mindfulness of nature



Mindfulness, disinterestedness and impartiality



Mirroring nature and `dirty glass'



Science and reverie







9 Nature, feeling and appreciation



Sober joy



Opposing moods



Enjoying natural beauty







10 Engaging with nature



Activity, engagement, intervention



Being outdoors



Engagement, environment and convergence



`The Daoist body'







11 Wilderness, wildness, wildlife



The wild



Wildlife and hunting



Guns, cameras, companions







12 Intervening in nature



Industry and technology



Agriculture



The Daoist garden







13 Intervening for nature?



Activism and virtue



Environmentalism and wu wei



Daoism and quietism







Notes



Reading
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Review quote

"Without over-burdening his text with quotations or references, and by writing in the first person, Cooper provides a succinct and readable guide through some of the meanings and implications of what he prefers to call Daodeism." -- Martin Spray, * Ecos - A Review of Conservation. *
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About David E. Cooper

David E. Cooper was Professor of Philosophy at Durham University for many years and has been a visiting professor at universities in the United States, Canada, Malta, Sri Lanka and South Africa. His philosophical interests range from environmental ethics to aesthetics, from the philosophy of language to Asian thought, from the history of philosophy to the philosophy of religion. His many books include Existentialism: A Reconstruction, World Philosophies: An Historical Introduction, The Measure of Things: Humanism, Humility and Mystery and A Philosophy of Gardens.
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Rating details

9 ratings
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3 22% (2)
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