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To Know the World: People and Nature
To know the world: People and nature

It is oddly easy to imagine: the view from space; the blue earth, loosely veiled with white cloud. Satellites take us closer. They begin to pick up the marks of human activity, clots of cities, vast irrigated plains, rivers channelled, straightened and damned. Almost everywhere the Earth's surface reveals the imprint of a numerous and highly organised species.

Our experience of the world is both of something made by humans and as something we call ‘natural’ (i.e., not made by humans). Because we are self-aware creatures we see ourselves as above nature or, at least, as acting upon it as if it was apart from us. Yet this is a troubling distinction. For ...

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