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Sophia Weinstein's picture

"Ecology equals living minus Nature, plus consciousness." This is the first sentence of Morton's last paragraph in his introduction to The Ecological Thought. I start here because I am unsure if I understand what this means. He capitalizes Nature, and says that nature is "like a reflection, we can never actually reach it and touch it and belong to it". How is nature separate from ecology? Isn't our search for "Nature" a driving force in our modern consciousness, living, and thought that define ecology? Our fascination with Nature connects our society to issues of the environment and our impact on it. How does one subtract nature from life and from consciousness? Perhaps my definition of nature is different from his meaning of Nature. He says that "what we call 'nature' is a 'denatured', unnatural, uncanny sequence of mutations and catastrophic events". But isn't this ideal and unattainable concept of Nature something that defines us as humans and defines our interactions with the environment? I suppose I am getting caught up in a definition. Perhaps the "artificial construct" of Nature is a counterthought to ecology?