Sunday, 13 December 2015

Utopias - 2

Even the most cogent definition of nature fails to dispel a sense of ambiguity about our position in relation to naturalness. Alexander von Humboldt established a geographical and scientific view of nature that could be more or less contained within literature and the genre of landscape painting. The revolution in our understanding of nature resulting from 20th century nuclear physics and recent advances in synthetic biology makes it harder to continue a shared definition of nature. The realisation that nature obeys physical laws that are amoral undermines what was once a common reference point in culture.