Man's Relation to the Earth in Its Bearing on His Aesthetic, Ethical, Legal and Political Values*
Contemporary man is at once the creator and the captive of a technological civilization. Its instruments have related him to the earth in a new way. This new way has reflected back upon man himself, forming and altering his values. Of what do these modifications of the humanity of man consist? This, I take it, is our question.
Put more concretely, the question is: What effect has man's role in changing the face of the earth had on his aesthetic sensitivity and creativity, his ethical, political and legal standards for ordering his relations to his fellow men, his emotive relation to nature itself and to its creation, and his moral standards for determining whether his tools are used for good or for bad ends? The last factor suggests that the answer which the evidence and its analysis permit us to give to this question may well determine whether man remains the master or becomes the slave and perhaps even the murdered victim of his tools.
In selecting and analyzing the relevant evidence, what method are we to use? Clearly the method chosen will determine the character of the answer. It is important, therefore, that we allow the nature of____________________