Peter Critchley deposited In Search of Ecopolis on Humanities Commons 4 years, 5 months ago
This book identifies the contemporary environmental crisis as a call to create a new biocentric civilisation. Proceeding from the identification of the constants of civilized life, the argument seeks to build constructive ecological models by relating Green politics to philosophy and ethics. This approach seeks to develop a practical, institution building orientation out of fundamental Green principles. In the process, the gap between the ‘is’ of the real world and the ‘ought to be’ of philosophy is closed via notions of cognitive praxis and ecological praxis. Ensuring the unity of subject and object is a way of recovering the original meaning of politics as creative human self-realisation. Eudaimonia in Aristotle and conatus in Spinoza are identified as crucial to human flourishing, identified as definitive of the good life. Reason is shown to be central to this conception of happiness and the constitution of the common good. The book criticises market society and its atomistic relations as a reversion to the lowest form of reasoning in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In relating ecological praxis to civilisation, the book calls for the extension of communicative and cooperative structures in order to foster and embed the rational restraint crucial to long term freedom for all in social relations and institutions.. The contributions of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Marx and Habermas to this view are all emphasised.