Philosophy for a planetary civilization: On the verge of integral ecology

Submitted by James Miller on Mon, 12/24/2012 - 18:12
James Miller's picture
TitlePhilosophy for a planetary civilization: On the verge of integral ecology
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMickey, S.
Corporate AuthorsKelly, Sean
Academic DepartmentProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Date Published2012
PublisherCalifornia Institute of Integral Studies
Place PublishedUnited States -- California
ISBN Number9781267336422
Keywords0318:Religion, 0392:Environmental philosophy, 0422:Philosophy, Boundaries, Complexity, Continental thought, Integral ecology, Philosophy, religion and theology, Religion and ecology, Speculative philosophy

This dissertation presents philosophical contributions to integral ecology--an emerging approach to ecology that crosses disciplinary boundaries to map the meanings, matters, and mysteries of ecological problems and to empower the emergence of a peaceful, just, and sustainable planetary civilization. Deepening and extending the insights of the theorists who first explicitly formulated "integral" or "general" approaches to ecology (Thomas Berry, Leonardo Boff, Ken Wilber, Edgar Morin, and Félix Guattari) and on the various schools of thought affiliated with those theorists (e.g., new cosmology, religion and ecology, liberation theology, Integral theory, complexity theory, and poststructuralism), this work draws together postmodern, environmental, and speculative strands of philosophy to convey a profound sense of the complexity of ecological boundaries. Of particular significance is the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. Writing with Guattari, Deleuze defines philosophy as the discipline of creating concepts to summon a new Earth and new people. Following that definition, one task guides this work: to present concepts that facilitate the development of creative and respectful engagements with the Earth community amidst the entangled boundaries of its beginnings, middles, and endings. The concepts presented in this work are folded into the feminist process theology of Catherine Keller, whose numerous works draw attention to the dynamic process of beginnings, the entanglement of middles, and the creativity of endings. The boundaries of beginnings, middles, and endings are open and transformative, harboring profound potential for liberation from the structures of domination that are causing ecological crises and devastating the natural environment, culture, and consciousness. Questions about where we come from, where we are, and where we are going are fundamental questions addressed by philosophy, and they are the most pressing questions facing the human species today. Questions of boundaries compel us to renew our engagements with our origins, goals, and everything in between, thereby opening possibilities to mutate, to become different and welcome another world.