Relationship between humanity and nature

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					                                                                                          Rebecca Umpleby.
                  Relationship between humanity and nature.
I wanted to explore why we (Western Society) have the belief that it is right for humans to have
authority over the rest of the environment and to dominate it, utilising it however is deemed fit. My
outlook within this project is to clarify differing perceptions of nature and how they are influential.
My aim is to establish how society has got the perception of nature that it has.
Intro: the underlying question is why do humans believe that they have the right to dominate the
I intend to clarify differing attitudes towards, and beliefs about nature. Discuss the different focuses of
the discussion.
What is nature?
                                      Different Viewpoints on Nature.
Environmental ethics: anthropocentrism, speciesism, eco-feminism, humanism, idealism, deep ecology,
animal rights, vegetarianism and veganism etc.
What do they say about the relationship between humans and nature?
How past perceptions of nature have changed e.g. Romanticism, and why has it got more controversial?
                                       Religious Concepts of Nature.
Why I am looking at religious examples. Different time spans and areas. Primitive v Modern. Religion
communicates social norms.
The religion, the relationship with totems. Different teachings and sacraments. What does this say
about the relationship with nature?
Mother nature, link with eco-feminism. Different beliefs. Relationship with nature.
Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Patriarchal, anthropocentric, institutionalised. What does this say about the relationship with nature?
Religious Conclusion.
What do these contrasting religions communicate about man and nature? Comparison of Christianity
and Paganism-Mother v Lord. Look at respect for nature in Totemism and compare this to modern
Christianity. Is Christianity fundamentally anthropocentric? Dualism, Patriarchy. Ecological effort.

                                        Psychological Relationship.
Importance of psychology, what can it tell us about our preconceptions of nature?
Jung’s Collective Conscious.
What is it? Is it plausible that our collective conscious can dictate our relationship to nature?
 General psychological opinion. Nativists v empiricists.
 Psychological Conclusion.
What do these arguments infer about humanity’s attitude towards nature?
                                        Philosophical Relationship.
What can philosophy tell us?
Different Arguments.
Kant, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Plato.
Dualism v Monism.
Descartes. Spinoza. What a worldview’s impact on the relationship between humanity and nature is.
Conclusion. Religion, Psychology, Philosophy and Sociological ⇒ what they infer? Which has the most
impact? Why do we have the relationship with nature that we do?

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