Culture and Nature: Anthropology of Mutual Dependency / Kultura a příroda…


Culture and Nature: Anthropology of Mutual Dependency / Kultura a příroda: antropologie vzájemné závislosti /vyučováno v angličtině/

In European thought, the dichotomy between culture and nature can hardly be preserved in 21st century, the era of climate change and other serious environmental issues. The course focuses on the anthropological and ecological topic of the culture-nature relation/bond, and also the link between natural and social sciences. What are the historical benefits of the distinction between the natural and cultural sphere, and what are its negative side-effects? Why could the preservation of this dichotomy be malicious for the present and future of the interconnected world? The course ends with an exam consisting of two parts. Written test is based on fundamental knowledge in cultural ecology and philosophy of nature. Oral exam tests the ability of the student to analyze challenges and contradictions of the Western antrhopocentric worldview and think independently about anthropological aspects of contemporary environmental issues.

Main topics – outline:
– (Non)sense of culture/nature dichotomy in philosophy and anthropology
– Culture and nature in ancient times
– How culture and nature were reflected in Middle Ages
– Modern history and culture/nature dichotomy
– 19th century – changes in understanding of nature/culture
– 20th century – changes in understanding of nature/culture
– Current discussion and its main voices
– Ethical aspects of the topic

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