Human nature: an oxymoron?

Good grief.  The ideas presented in the afterword Twenty-Two Theses on Nature are “all-encompassing”.   The statements often proved much more verbose than required to portray an idea.  Nevertheless, the overall concepts extended from the theses are agreeable.

First, given our ecological crisis of today, Man versus Nature is no longer an option.  “We can no longer think of Nature as one side of a binary opposition”.  With a continued practice of this idiom, our world resources will continue to decline, and our human population will continue to struggle against a Whole much larger than ourselves.

Second, Nature has always been, and always will be.  “The radical unknowability of Nature is not an epistemological constraint; it is a basic, and positive, ontological feature of Nature itself.  Regardless of the affects Man has imposed upon Nature, humanity’s understanding of Nature is that it will persist past our timeline.  Planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and solar systems will all endure.

Third, Nature is a loose construct with much to still be discovered.  “Perception is only a particular sort of causality.  When I perceive something, this means that the thing in question has affected me in some way”…”But if I’m affected by something, then that something has had an effect upon me.”  And “I am often affected by things without overtly perceiving them.  I feel the symptoms of a cold, but I do not sense the virus that actually causes me to fall ill.”  Humans have adeptly realized the extent of our ecological crisis through the construct of Nature.  Global warming directly swells Earth’s oceans, and species suffer as habitats are rapidly dissolved, all due in part to the implicit nature of humanity.  Humans are the virus to the Nature of Earth.  We see the symptoms, but a virus cannot contain itself from spreading.

Given these Twenty-Two Theses on Nature, I find it intriguing to consider further developing the current concept of human nature.  To perceive “human nature” not as the essence of humanity, but as a descriptor of the adapted environment around us.  Nature will continue to exist, but humanity has developed a perceived control of nature through food production and technology.  Given Nature is a loose construct, I encourage us all to consider if “human nature” could mean a Nature where humans adapt to better coexist and provide nature and resources to the world.