2021 Abstracts Stage 3

PLANT PEOPLE: How do Plants interact With the World and in What Ways could Human Existence Benefit from Understanding Such Interaction?

From its roots, phenomenology has tended towards an anthropocentric view of the world. This much is true in as far as we think of the phenomenological subject as a solely human entitlement which cannot be transplanted onto other modes of being such as that of the animal or vegetal realms.
Plants in themselves have been reduced, in the past, to objects for the human subject both in our experience of them directly (Husserl, for example, talks of trees in Ideas I, only referring to them as objects in their own right), and in their material advantages to us as commodities and resources.
Goethe made a step towards understanding the world of plants in and of themselves in his philosophical application of botanical orientated scientific, observational study. In his Metamorphosis of Plants, he explains how the elemental life force, striving or ‘conatus’ of plants is the basis for vegetal ontology and is akin to a sort of rationality in plants.
Michael Marder recognizes how plants present a specific challenge to western philosophy, especially phenomenology, and, in his book, Plant Thinking, problematizes the reductionary relation between the human world and that of vegetal being.
Human and plant interactions in the world are ontologically estranged from one another which necessarily calls us into an ethical state of being with regards to Nature as a unifying concept. The ecopsychological application of the Buddhist world view of Ahimsa and dependent origination allows a different reading of ontological alterity within Nature to that of Marder.
In this study we shall look at the temporal character of vegetal ontology as a route for acceptance of plant life as a conceptual authority in and of itself. By informing a critique of Marder’s revolutionary ethical stance towards vegetal being with a meditative contemplation of the world around us, based in Zen Buddhism; I hope to show how human’s experience of the world can benefit from understanding plant’s interaction with the world. I shall also consider how this change in perspective to our relationship with plants and their being-in-the-world could have a positive outcome in terms of conservation and environmental ethics.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

How can we reverse the effects of climate change? A revised global philosophy or self-preservation? A philosophical investigation into the role plant-based lifestyles can play in altering the climate crisis.

The purpose of this investigation is to determine the extent of which our climate crisis can be aided by plant-based diets. I will assess different opinions on animal sentience and moral philosophy in order to determine how and why a plant-based diet could play a part in combatting the crisis. By Harry Feachen

2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Decentered Mother(hood)?

AIM: Explore the complexity that arises with respect to our understanding of the word mother(hood) in non-genetic gestational (full) surrogacy. METHODOLOGY: • Consider the recent achievements of reproductive biology • Analysis of the word mother(hood) and what is “natural” mother(hood) • Consider the influence of the gestational mother (being-in-the-womb + genotype-phenotype distinction) • Consider the “supplementarity” of the gestational mother. CONCLUSION: Both genetic mother and gestational mother are of equal importance for the child’s existence. KEY CONCEPTS: • Being-in-the-world • Thrownness • Genotype-Phenotype distinction • Supplement

2002 Abstracts Stage 3

The Fortunes of a Little Tick

Background · I have a biological background and a deep interest in nature. · Throughout my degree I have looked at Darwinian evolution, in the past I have compared Darwin with Nietzsche Ethology · Ethology is looking at the behaviour of an organism within its environment. · Writers such as Deleuze have applied ethology to philosophy. Sources · Incorporations: Guattari’s essay ‘Regimes, Pathways, Subjects’ Deleuze’s work ‘Ethology: Spinoza and Us’ Key Points · Both writers provide alternatives to the positivistic study of nature, evolution and science · They teach us that we should look at the world around us from where we are. · Most importantly it must be realised the animal being studied is never separable from its relations with the world · Ethology is fragmented, · The rise of powerful technologies leads us to a point in history where progress is irreversible Examples 1. Little Hans · As a child little Hans maintains his innocence and can look at the world like an ethologist. · In his eyes the Plough horse is more similar to an ox than to a race horse. 2. The tick. · We should look at the tick by the capacities it is capable of. The tick responds to three things in three ways: 1.Light, 2. Olfactive, 3.Thermal · The tick, like every living creature has an Umwelt. Conclusions · We are loosing track of sustainable development. History is becoming irreversible. Maybe ethology can help? · Deleuze succeeds in presenting us with an alternative way of looking at the world. Instead of the positivistic categorising we must look at the world from where we are. · Guattari suggests we must think about sustainability; we can’t stay where we are now, otherwise we will destroy our planet.