“The Politics”

CITATION:
Aristotle. 1981. Tr. T.A. Sinclair, rev. T.J. Saunders. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
Internet Classics Archive version (tr. Jowett) at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.html
ABSTRACT:

In The Politics Aristotle addresses the questions that lie at the heart of political science. How should society be ordered to ensure the happiness of the individual? Which forms of government are best and how Continue reading

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“The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis: A Biography of an Ingenious Species”

CITATION:
R. DeFries. 2014. New York: Basic Books.
BOOK WEBSITE:
ABSTRACT:

The human species has long lived on the edge of starvation. Now we produce enough food so that all 7 billion of us could eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This is such an astonishing transformation as to Continue reading

The Ecological Circumstances of the Circumstances of Politics

This is the first in a series of posts on Environmental Political Theory.


With his famous phrase “the circumstances of politics” the philosopher Jeremy Waldron offers an abstract characterization of what politics are at the most basic level. Waldron holds that Continue reading

Video of Ellis Talk and Panel Discussion

THIS POST CONCLUDES OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

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Moral Meaning & Morally Mending (Nature)

THIS POST IS THE WINNER OF THE PRIZE FOR BEST ESSAY BY A GRADUATE STUDENT ON THE QUESTION, “HOW DID THE ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT AFFECT THE WAY I UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMAN BEINGS AND NATURE?” CONGRATULATIONS, ARIELLE!

The Anthropocene Biosphere Project has changed the way that I view the relationship between humans and nature. Generally, there are two prevailing beliefs about the role that human beings play Continue reading

Together, With Nature

THIS POST IS THE WINNER OF THE PRIZE FOR BEST ESSAY BY AN UNDERGRADUATE ON THE QUESTION, “HOW DID THE ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT AFFECT THE WAY I UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMAN BEINGS AND NATURE?” CONGRATULATIONS, MARY!

The 2016 Anthropocene Biosphere project brought together intellectuals from various fields to share their intellectual expertise on how humankind is shaping our planet. These experts, through the blog and live presentation, wove together Continue reading

On the narrative of cultural evolution and alternatives for human-environmental entanglements

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES OF POSTS ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

Over the past few weeks, our group members have exchanged lively discussion and critique of Erle Ellis’s paper, virtually and in person. At those meetings I have attended, our chats have extended at least for some time towards the domain of Continue reading

The Human Climate

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR ANTHROPOCENE BIOSPHERE PROJECT–A SERIES OF POSTS ON ERLE ELLIS’ ‘ECOLOGY IN AN ANTHROPOGENIC BIOSPHERE‘ (ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, 85/3 (2015))

To understand this massive and sustained human transformation of Earth’s ecology, it is necessary to consider human societies as a global force capable of interacting with and reshaping ecology across the Earth in ways analogous to Continue reading

“From hominins to humans: how sapiens became behaviourally modern”

CITATION:
K. Sterelny. 2011. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, vol. 366, pp. 809–822.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This paper contributes to a debate in the palaeoarchaeological community about the major time-lag between the origin of anatomically modern humans and the appearance of Continue reading

“A Paleolithic Reciprocation Crisis: Symbols, Signals, and Norms”

CITATION:
K. Sterelny. 2014. Biological Theory, vol. 9, pp 65-77.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Within paleoanthropology, the origin of behavioral modernity is a famous problem. Very large-brained hominins have lived for around half a million years, yet social lives resembling those known from the ethnographic record appeared perhaps 100,000 years ago. Why did it take 400,000 years for humans to start acting like humans? Continue reading