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June 15, 2021

Forum: Pathways to Planetary Health – David Abram & Jonathan F. P. Rose on the More-than-Human World

On Tuesday June 15 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, join cultural ecologist, philosopher and founder of The Alliance for Wild Ethics David Abram in a conversation with Garrison Institute co-founder Jonathan F. P. Rose. They’ll explore a worldview that transcends the anthropocentric and accepts earthly nature as “more-than-human,” to use Abram’s phrase adopted by the ecological movement. A student of indigenous ecological knowledge systems, Abram is a contemporary philosopher who reappraises our human-centered view of life and emphasizes our participation in the holism of nature. 

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Known for connecting the philosophical tradition of phenomenology to ecology, and as a progenitor of the ecopsychology movement, Abram studied with R. D. Laing, and traveled throughout Southeast Asia as an itinerant sleight-of-hand magician, living and studying with indigenous magic practitioners. His books include Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World. His work has been called “revolutionary” by the Los Angeles Times, and “daring” and “truly original” by Science.

This interactive online event is part of a continuing series in the Garrison Institute’s Forum on Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH). Building on the Garrison Institute’s earlier Climate, Mind and Behavior (CMB) program, Pathways to Planetary Health explores the moral, ethical, and human behavioral dimensions of the search for regenerative solutions, including Half-Earth, Ecological Civilization, Regenerative Economics, and Societal Altruism

This live webinar will be conducted on Zoom at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday June 15, 2021. The webinar link will be emailed to participants within twenty-four hours of registration.

Speakers:

David Abram – cultural ecologist and geo-philosopher – is the author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World. Described as “revolutionary” by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by the journal Science, David’s work has helped catalyze the emergence of several new disciplines, including the burgeoning field of eco-psychology. Dr. Abram’s work engages the ecological depths of the imagination, exploring the ways in which sensory perception, language, and wonder inform the relation between the human body and the breathing earth. In 1996, David coined the phrase “the more-than-human world” to speak of nature as a realm that thoroughly includes humankind and all our cultural productions, but always necessarily exceeds humankind; the phrase has now been taken up as part of the lingua franca of the broad movement for ecological sanity. David’s philosophical craft is informed by his fieldwork with indigenous peoples in southeast Asia and the Americas, as well as by the philosophical tradition of phenomenology. He was the first contemporary philosopher to advocate for a reappraisal of “animism” as a complexly nuanced and uniquely viable worldview, one which roots human cognition in the dynamic sentience of the body while affirming the ongoing entanglement of our bodily experience with the uncanny intelligence of other animals, each of whom encounters the same world that we perceive yet from an outrageously different angle and perspective.

A close student of traditional ecological knowledge systems (TEK) of diverse indigenous peoples, David’s work also articulates the entwinement of human subjectivity with the varied sensitivities of the plants upon whom we depend, as well as with the agency and dynamism of the particular places, or bioregions, that surround and sustain our communities. In recent years Dr. Abram’s work has come to be associated with a broad movement loosely termed “New Materialism,” due to his espousal of a radically transformed sense of matter and materiality. A Fellow of Schumacher College in England, David is founder and creative director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE). For more information on David’s work, please visit: The Alliance for Wild Ethics.

Jonathan F.P. Rose’s business, public policy, and not-for-profit work focus on creating a more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible world. Jonathan and his wife Diana Calthorpe Rose are the co-founders of the Garrison Institute. He serves on its Board and leads its Pathways to Planetary Health program.

Please join us for other Pathways to Planetary Health Forum with Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn on September 14, 2021.

Your support matters. Through signature initiatives like Pathways to Planetary Health, the Garrison Institute is applying the wisdom of contemplative traditions and the insights of science to the urgent social and environmental challenges of our times. To support our work, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution with your registration for this program below.

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