Geo-Logic: Philosophy and Earth Sciences

Robert Frodeman, Geo-Logic: Breaking Ground Between Philosophy and the Earth Sciences (Albany: SUNY Press, 2003).

A few excerpts from the Introduction:

Our relationship to the Earth cannot be encompassed by science alone: “geology” opens up possibilities that an exclusively scientific approach to the Earth closes off.  In ancient Greek, or Gaia evoked the rich, earthy soil that sustains life; Mother Earth, the sheltering source and tomb of life; and one’s patria or homeland.  Our environmental questions require an account of the Earth that acknowledges all of these dimensions, an integrated logos of Gaia, an account of the planet that is our home. (p. 3)

Geologists are poet semioticians, treating rock formations as stony verse, conjuring past worlds from the layers of an outcrop. (p. 3)

A disciplinary approach to knowledge is not unreasonable, but it is partial.  It needs to be complemented by an approach that remembers that our problems are always extra-disciplinary in nature. (p. 12)

Philosophy in particular is well suited for uniting the insights of science with economic, political, ethical, aesthetic, and religious perspectives. (p. 5)

Practicing philosophy means something more than applying the established insights of philosophy to our lives; we must approach philosophy as a yoga—a disciplined and embodied way of being in the world that in turn influences our philosophical propositions.  The point is not to dismiss philosophy’s discursive element, but to view the linguistic and embodied, engaged aspects of philosophy as complementary.  In this view of philosophy, philosophers would spend roughly equal amounts of time out in the “field” and in teaching and writing. (p. 10)

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