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The Biology of Wonder

Aliveness, Feeling, and the Metamorphosis of Science
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
New Society
 | 
February, 2016
ISBN:
9780865717992
In stock now: 
2
$21.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

So… what is life? In The Biology of Wonder, German biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber reframes this fundamental mystery by arguing that all living beings, like humans, are not biological machines, but living, creative agents fueled by meaning and expression. Weber proposes a new approach—the development of a “poetic ecology”—which intimately attaches our species to every being and underpins the entire range of human experience. He argues that feelings and emotions, far from being superfluous to the study of organisms, are the very foundation of life.

 The schism between us and the natural world is arguably the root cause of most of the environmental catastrophes unraveling around us. Until we come to terms with the depths of our alienation, we will continue to fail to understand that what happens to nature also happens to us.

In his preface, “From Enlightenment to Enlivenment,” David Abram writes:

The chapters herein pulse with wonder and are shadowed with ache; the pages are thick with fresh insights and often suffused with a kind of careless beauty… Weber’s richly detailed contribution toward a more mature natural science opens a new and largely unfamiliar way…

His First Law of Desire affirms that all living bodies are necessarily bodies of feeling… His Second Law of Desire is that the wish to live is palpable and visible in the living body of each being… and Weber’s Third Law of Desire he articulates as follows: “Only in the mirror of other life can we understand our own lives. Only in the eyes of the other can we become ourselves. We need the regard of the most unknown. The animal’s regard… Only it can unlock the depths in ourselves that otherwise would be sealed forever.”…

Although it would be impossible to consciously pinpoint and assess each of the many subtle relational ingredients of a genuinely healthy ecosystem, Weber suggest that the felt experience of beauty may be our most reliable gauge for recognizing such health.

The implications of Biology of Wonder for our understanding of the commons are profound.  If feeling is never invisible, and shapes and manifests itself everywhere in nature, then the commons may be the best way for us to rediscover our aliveness.   

The deeper the connections in the system become, the more creative niches it will afford for its individual members.

This book demonstrates and validates the essence of our deep experience. By reconciling science with meaning, expression and emotion, The Biology of Wonder brings us to a crucial understanding of our place in the framework of life.

Publisher’s Description: 

The disconnection between humans and nature is perhaps the most fundamental problem faced by our species today. The schism between us and the natural world is arguably the root cause of most of the environmental catastrophes unravelling around us. Until we come to terms with the depths of our alienation, we will continue to fail to understand that what happens to nature also happens to us.

In Healing Ecology author Andreas Weber proposes a new approach to the biological sciences that puts the human back in nature. He argues that feelings and emotions, far from being superfluous to the study of organisms, are the very foundation of life. From this basic premise flows the development of a "poetic ecology" which intimately connects our species to everything that surrounds us, showing that subjectivity and imagination are the prerequisites of biological existence.

Healing Ecology demonstrates that there is no separation between us and the world we inhabit, and in so doing it validates the essence of our deep experience. By reconciling science with meaning, expression and emotion, this landmark work brings us to a crucial understanding of our place in the framework of life—a revolution for biology as groundbreaking as the theory of relativity was for physics.

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