Ecology as a field overlaps with pretty much every other field of study, sometimes directly, other times indirectly. As the field that looks at how organisms relate to their environment, its focus is on the elements that produce what other fields study. Without an ecological environment, there would be no space for the objects of other fields to exist, nor resources to sustain them. It is in the background of philosophical thought, historical research, and scientific investigation, among other areas of study.
While this fact was for a long time either unknown, forgotten, or taken for granted, it is to the credit of researchers that they have begun to pour through the history of thought to reestablish the connections between various ideologies and the environment which produced them. Additionally, people are working to develop a responsible theory of ecology that incorporates the work it does in the background into our foreground thoughts and practices (thus the emergence of “political ecology” as a field of study). The goal is to understand the many relationships we have with our surroundings, so that hopefully we can develop them in sustainable and healthy ways. There is still much work to be done, but here are some recent papers that have added to our understanding.
- Thomas Bassett and Andrew Peimer, “Political ecological perspectives on socioecological relations,” Natures Sciences Sociétés, April-June 2015.
- Kwasi Densu, “Omenala: Toward an African-Centered Ecophilosophy and Political Ecology,” Journal of Black Studies, January 2018.
- Antonio Ioris, “Theorizing state-environment relationships: Antinomies of flexibility and legitimacy,” Progress in Human Geography, April 2015.
- Darcy Tetreault, “Three Forms of Political Ecology,” Ethics & the Environment, Fall 2017.
- Robert Ulanowic, “Process Ecology: Philosophy Passes into Praxis,” Process Studies. Fall/Winter 2016.
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