The Ever Changing Nature of Nature

Aside from this week’s reading by Steven Shaviro “Twenty-two Theses on Nature”, not many other works of writing are in the style of separate, but related theses; except for one of the most famous pieces of reformational writing: Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther. Shaviro seems to have taken inspiration from the change Luther’s writing brought about to reflect on the change that needs to happen surrounding humanity’s relationship with nature. 

Shaviro addresses multiple facets of how humans think about nature, from the very broad, to very specific, especially in the sense of hard sciences such as physics, or informatics. He encourages his audience to move away from the school of thought that nature is an entirely separate entity from nature. It is not humans and nature it is humans IN nature, also drawing attention to the idea that what we tend to think of as nature is not actually nature, the trees, or the grass, or the animals are just in it.

While Shaviro’s arguments contain many scientific elements that add credibility to his article, he approaches the overall idea much more philosophically or psychologically, trying to instead change the ways of thinking of his audience with the information he provides instead of simply presenting the information. The psychological nature of his writing is apparent in his use of certain terms, such as individuation, the emergence of a stable state of being, contrasted with his use of the term meta-stable, which infers that a system (nature) is in a state of equilibrium, but can also move to a state of higher equilibrium. The individuation of nature is constantly happening as processes occur, leading to metastability in the environment because of the constant gain and dissipation of energy, but could be more stable if the processes simply ceased. 

Changing the way we think about nature is a very important step in fixing the current issues surrounding it, but this might also lead to the thought process that issues such as climate change are simply just more processes that will bring nature to a higher state of equilibrium. Nature is ever changing, so adaptation should be considered a strategy for combating climate change, not just stopping it.

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