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Rethinking Nature

Part 1 Dissertation 2019
Neil O'Brien
University College Cork Ireland
The scientific revolution has been instrumental in the development of our species. Its’ benefits are everywhere; the car, the modern smartphone, our comfortable housing. With all the tangible results science has given us, why then are we so quick to dismiss its’ warnings? It possible that scientific acceptance has suffered in part because science is ultimately a description of the objective world. The objective world is composed of de-animate matter and number. It is devoid of life. The lived world of the human being is ambiguous, chaotic and ever changing. While scientific progress was incredibly important because it allowed us to detach from the superstitious metaphysical framework of medieval times, it struggles in our modern age because it ultimately does not provide an adequate alternative. Are we to believe simply that the world is all parts and matter, and every human being a sole product of chemical reactions? This idea is appealing to very few. With climate change Nature has re-emerged again before humanity as a myth, an all-powerful sublime force. And our current science has no answer for myths. If we are to engage with climate change effectively, we must reconceptualise again how we view our planet.

Neil O'Brien

Tutor(s)
John McLaughlin
2019
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