Philosophical Reflections on "Low Carbon"

By Zhong-Hua, Yang | Studies in Sociology of Science, June 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Philosophical Reflections on "Low Carbon"


Zhong-Hua, Yang, Studies in Sociology of Science


1. THE STATUS OF HUMAN BEINGS IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Environment refers to the surrounding conditions. The contents of the environment are different among different objects and different subjects. From a macroscopic point of environmental protection, it refers to the earth. People think about the status of human beings in the environment from different aspects. The relation between human society and the environment is multidimensional. It involves human beings ' practical value and future value. This is a problem about the ultimate goal of human development. According to Marxism, the ultimate goal of human society is the liberation of mankind, and if we want to achieve this goal, we have to solve the two relationships: relations between human and nature, and relations among human beings themselves. These two relationships always accompany with the development of human society. People are dual existences relative to the environment. In the environmental system, human beings are not only the existence of pure natural attributes but also the existence of social property. In this way, people can do something in the environmental system, although this has to be positive or negative.

1.1 The status of human beings in the nature

Human beings have natural properties. The founder of Marxism has helped us to confirm our status in the natural world. He stressed that "man is a part of nature" (Marx and Engels, 1965, p.95). "Man is the direct natural existence" (Marx and Engels, 1965, p.169). "People themselves are the product of nature, they develop in the environment and together with the environment, (Marx and Engels, 1965, pp. 38-39) because "people live by the nature" (Marx and Engels, 1965, p.95). According to the natural properties, human is the creation of nature. Human's activities inevitably restricted and controlled by the laws of nature. The survival and development environment for human beings is established and human must remain in awe of attitude in the natural environment. As Engels said, the interactions among the inanimate objects in the nature contain harmony and conflict; the interactions among the zoetic objects contain both the conscious and unconscious cooperation and the conscious and unconscious struggle. Therefore, we are never allowed to only stress struggle in the nature (Engels, 1984, p. 291). In this way, when human beings have a consciousness, we should take the conciliatory attitude on nature and get on well with nature. Even when people have to transform and make use of nature, we should remember, as Engels said "we together with meat, blood and brain are part of nature and exist in it" (Engels, 1984, p. 305).

1.2 The status of human beings in the society

Specific people, as part of nature, his limbs structure adapt to nature and have obtained the ability to exist as natural objects. At the same time, nature gives human a great brain so that they have consciousness of subject and object, which makes the separation of nature. The structure of limbs (except the brain) is generic and human's brain is advanced. This is a pair of beautiful contradictions: the brain produce advanced needs with diversity and forward-looking, this conflicts with implementing these requirements all by human's limbs.

Nature gives human the great potential brain. It has the ability to do complex thinking and can be unlimited upgraded. Human's brain is the most magical substance in the world and it has huge advantages comparing to other animals. This has been proved by modern science. When we rejoice that nature has given us a wonderful brain, we also have to recognize that our other limbs have no advantage than other animals except the brain. Also, the speed of evolution between the brain and the limbs are not synchronized. The gods only create people on the half way. But luckily we have wonderful brain which can make up the deficiencies. Tool is a kind of compensation. In other words, people are inherent imperfect and they don't have the ability to respond to the challenges of nature, so they have to resort to the tools. …

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