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André Saramago: Dualism and Anti-Dualism in the Anthropocene: Process Sociology and Human/Nature Relations in the Great Evolution. [Abstract]

The contemporary ecological crisis challenges the human sciences to develop analytical frameworks that do not treat “nature” as simply the background of human activity. In this context, there are numerous calls for an abandonment of the “anthropocentrism” that colours most approaches to the human sciences, along with the dualism these establish between “nature” and “humanity,” and their substitution with more “ecocentric” perspectives. This article is a contribution to this ongoing debate. With reference to a process sociological understanding of human/nature relations, it proposes a theoretical avenue to overcome anthropocentric dualism via the process sociological conception of “levels of integration” in the “great evolution” of the planet, while making the case for the need to preserve a theoretically relevant awareness of the evolutionarily emergent distinguishing characteristics of the human species. Without an understanding of these emergent characteristics, and the developmental paths these have opened in the history of the species and the planet, neither the origins nor the adequacy of the answers to the ecological crisis can be properly understood.

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