The Philosophy of Global Warming


If you are interested in the relationship between the human species and the rest of life on Earth, individual and collective human purpose, evolution, cosmology, the nature of reality, astrology, spirituality, and how all of this relates to global warming & the environmental crisis of modernity, then I am sure that you will like my new book 'The Philosophy of Global Warming'. In the post below I have provided the book description, the list of contents and the first two sections of the book. You can find out how to get hold of the book by clicking on this link:

The Philosophy of Global Warming





Thursday, 23 August 2012

Humans and Other Animals


Today I would like to say a little more concerning the following:

1   The way that humans see their place in the cosmos

2   The place of humans in the cosmos

Let us start with the first of these. Most humans don't seem to spend too much time pondering the question of whether the human species has a special place in the cosmos. However, many humans consider the question of how humans relate to the non-human animals which inhabit the Earth. And these two questions are, in effect, the same. So, if humans think of themselves as simply one species of animal among many then they are subscribing to the view that humans do not have a special place in the cosmos. Whereas, if humans think that the human species is 'special' in some way, distinguished from all of the other non-human animals which inhabit the Earth, then they are subscribing to the view that humans have a special place in the cosmos.

Due to the spread of evolutionary thinking - the fact that the human species evolved from non-human animals - there is an increasing tendency for humans to think of themselves as simply 'one species of animal among many'. This way of thinking arises largely because the thinker is simply considering a limited and narrow range of facts: 1) humans evolved from non-human animals, leads to 2) humans are simply one species of animal among many. This entails: 3) humans do not have a special place in the cosmos.

When one broadens the range of facts which one considers then things get much more complicated. Evolutionary thinking is perfectly compatible with the view that the human species has a special place in the cosmos. When one thinks of the cosmos as an evolving whole, giving rise to solar systems, planets, and life; when one starts to understand how life-bearing planets age; when one starts to comprehend the forces underpinning the biological-cultural evolutionary trajectory; then, one can see why the human species has a special place in the cosmos.

The view that the human species does not have a special place in the cosmos arises largely from a simple comparison of the attributes of humans with the attributes of non-human animals. This is how the view goes: All animals have different attributes, so why should the human species (and their particular attributes) be 'special'? But, this really won't do. For, the question is misplaced. The question of whether the human species has a special place in the cosmos cannot be answered by simply comparing the attributes of humans with non-human animals. One needs to consider a very broad range of factors, such as those detailed in the previous paragraph.

The way that humans see themselves in relation to other animals goes through fads/phases - 'non-special', 'special', 'non-special', 'special'. The fact of whether the human species has a special place in an evolving cosmos is unchanging.

It is exceedingly obvious to me that the human species has a special place in the cosmos, that it is not just one species of animal among many. In the face of environmental destruction this is a source of some comfort. For, those who aren't aware of the bigger picture, those who just focus on the environmental destruction, are typically led solely to despair and frustration.


For more on this see the following:



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