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Feeling Nature: Emotions and Ecology

Published in Bollettino filosofico. 2013, vol. xxvii, p. 247-263
Abstract When we imagine the greatness of mountains, glaciers or the ocean as the ultimate force that gave free rein to our sentiments and feelings, we are just describing the origins of a modern way of loving nature -what we know today as ecology- by means of appreciating its complexity and diversity . Even though ecology as a scientific discipline was first enunciated in 1866 by Ernst von Haeckel, Romantic natural philosophers such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Joseph Schelling, Johann Wilhelm von Ritter, Friedrich von Handerberg and Alexander von Humboldt had previously enunciated a common desire to restore the lost harmony between man and the environment . As I will argue, this Romantic sentiment of unity with nature can be interpreted as being at the roots of our modern attitudes on the protection of the Earth from its increasing exploitation resulting from the development of human technology. With this aim in mind, the celebration of emotions such as nostalgia, the sublime and love in late 18th and early 19th Romantic literary and scientific writings will be examined as the affective basis from which was developed this revolutionary way of seeing nature and animals as a whole organism.
Keywords History of EmotionsEcologyRomanticism and Sciences
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Research group Histoire socio-culturelle de la médecine et des savoirs de santé (310)
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MARTIN MORUNO, Dolorès. Feeling Nature: Emotions and Ecology. In: Bollettino filosofico, 2013, vol. xxvii, p. 247-263. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:29898

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Deposited on : 2013-09-24

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