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Upside-Down Gods$
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Peter Harries-Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270347

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270347.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Ecological Aesthetics as Metapattern

Ecological Aesthetics as Metapattern

(p.219) 9. Ecological Aesthetics as Metapattern
Upside-Down Gods

Peter Harries-Jones

Fordham University Press

Freud regarded conscious reasoning as normal, while the unconscious was mysterious, filled with thoughts which repression and/or dream work had distorted. R. G. Collingwood proposed instead that perception lies in the gap between feeling and intellect but can engage the reflective mind through feedback upon itself inducing the imaginary, with its socially expressive conscious focus. Ecological aesthetics is an imaginary, a metapattern which enables the generation of a feeling of awe for the connectivity and unity in living systems, along with part-whole relationships, which normal science avoids. The attachment of aesthetics to the science of ecology arises because the recursiveness of biological, ecological, and psychological order is close to being a structure or system. Bateson was gloomy about the human ability to meet the threats of ecological change through aesthetics, yet could not have imagined the onset of ‘junk science’ ravaging global scientific consensus about climate change. Junk science was deliberate deceit fostered by former RAND-ites, a story of public betrayal, of selfishness and irresponsibility on an epic scale. It has overshadowed biodiversity losses, a prime example being the recent rapid increase in the annual death of honeybees or colony collapse disorder.

Keywords:   aesthetics, biodiversity, William Blake, climate change, F. G. Collingwood, colony collapse disorder, ecology of mind, Sigmund Freud, junk science, unconsciousness

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