Science, Totems, and the Technological Species
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The MIT Press
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We’ve been inspired by the early visionaries of ecopsychology. They recognized that to live meaningfully and to flourish, we as individuals and as a species need deep connection with nature. They wrote about this connection with insight and passion. And they lived it, too, by which we mean they lived answers...
About the Contributors
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Introduction to Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species
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We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being. We always have. Our bodies and minds came of age interacting with a natural world that sustained and resisted our being and through both processes shaped the contours of what it means for humans to flourish. Yet we have largely forgotten that this is so. This...
1. The Topophilia Hypothesis: Ecopsychology Meets Evolutionary Psychology
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Each day, many millions of people travel paved pathways through neon mazes that are emblazoned with all-too-familiar corporate logos. Just as these corporations generally are based somewhere far away, so too the energy fueling our bodies, cars, and homes tends to come from distant locales. This truism applies...
2. A Nature Language
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As a case in point, think about an experience you have had where you came upon an animal — a deer, skunk, or bear — in its own habitat. Perhaps you startled each other, your eyes met. Perhaps it was a deer or a skunk or a bear, and then perhaps the animal bounded away (or in the case of a skunk...
3. What Is Ecopsychology? A Radical View
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The problem of legitimacy has haunted ecopsychology from its beginnings. Although often respectful of ecopsychology’s passion and intuitions, environmental and conservation psychologists have consistently expressed reservations about the field, particularly its scientific status...
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Here beyond the urban boundary in the foothills of the Western Cascades — with a whitewater river as my foreground — the senses are engaged with a natural world that ever changes. I love when day gives way to night and the long shadows meld into darkness. The air cools, birds quiet, and the sound...
5. Building the Science Base: Ecopsychology Meets Clinical Epidemiology
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Is nature contact good for health? In recent years, this question has earned increasing attention from scholars and advocates in fields as diverse as recreation, conservation, and medicine. An important locus of attention has been in the mental health field, where psychologists, social workers...
6. Ecovillages: Information Tools and Deeply Sustainable Living
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A slow drumbeat reverberates across the wooden floor, signaling the Council of All Beings to assemble. Bear, Vole, Earthworms, Flower and Weed, Red-Tailed Hawk, Owl, Prairie Grass, Pond, and the rest of the wildlife representatives gather, circling around the drummer. Behind paper masks decorated...
7. Can Architecture Become Second Nature? An Emotion-Based Approach to Nature-Oriented Architecture
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Since the dawn of architecture, representations of natural elements and processes have been an integral part of architectural constructions and of the decorative elements with which they were adorned. For example, in Western architecture, there has been a long history of organicism, according to which...
8. Psychological Discontent: Self and Science on Our Symbiotic Planet
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Psychologists study the developmental and behavioral patterns of people primarily in North American and Western Europe over periods of time that are geologically instantaneous. But practitioners of healing regimes and researchers in experimental psychology tend to ignore a major reason for chronic...
9. Psychoterratic Conditions in a Scientific and Technological World
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Our relationships to place and home are now in almost perpetual transition. My life history coincides with a period of rapid and pervasive environmental change, and my academic interest in the existential dimensions of place, especially an endemic sense of place, has been driven by this awareness of...
10. Beauty and the Brain
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It has often been said that our environmental crisis is a crisis of perception. We do not readily see the patterns that would reveal our dependence on the natural world, nor are we commonly aware of the systems within which we are deeply embedded. Our attention, entrained on objects and focused on flat screens...
11. Sacred Geography
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In a rugged knot of mountains in the remote reaches of northern British Columbia lies a stunningly beautiful valley known to the First Nations as the Sacred Headwaters. There, on the southern edge of the Spatsizi wilderness, the Serengeti of Canada, are born in remarkably close proximity three of Canada’s most...
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Nelson writes of an indigenous people who have deep relationships with a more than human world. These relationships form part of their totemic selves. To the extent that these people still exist today, they can teach us much. This was Wade Davis’s point in chapter 11, as he discussed the traditional people...
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Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2012