Mesology

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= a relational approach to the relation between humanity and nature that aims to overcome the subject/object dualism of western philosophy after Descartes

Discussion

A summary of the authors that developed meso-logical approaches:

Modern dualism separates the human from nature, even though the two are inextricably linked: the human lives in full connection with an environment AND is constituted by it.

  • Uexkull called this ‘Gegengefuge’ (contre-assemblage – fr).
  • Watsuji Tetsure called it fudosei (mediance – fr), in his book Fudo (Le milieu humain, CNRS, 2011) the dynamic coupling of the human with its environment.

In this relation, nature is not an object, we can not exist outside of it. It’s also not subjective but trajective, i.e. both at the same time. In this sense, ecology as a science is insufficient, as it sees nature as an object, so what we need is ‘mesology’, interpreted as a ‘trans-modern paradigm’. It’s main axiom is that things are produced by relations, they are not substantive existing ‘by themselves’. Mesology comes from the Latin word ‘medietas’, meaning ‘half’, and implies that without our relation, we do not fully exist. Being is only exercised through this ‘mediance’.

To replace Aristotelian substantivism and its ‘third-excluding logic’, Berque found

  • Nishida, and his predicate logic (jutsugo no ronri) and tried to synthesize both (refusing to absolutize the predicate as well).
  • In Yamauchi Tokuryu he found the new logic of the included middle, ( >< the excluded middle from aristetolian logic), in order to develop a meso-logy. Berque says the Buddhist of the Great Vehicle have developed this the best.
  • Fukuoka Masanobu and his natural agriculture also influenced Berque, and he mentions
  • Imanishi and his theory of life.

Trajecting refers to ex-isting from the point of view of another. Grass is food for the cow, but an obstacle for the human hand, and a roof for insects to hide from the rain.

Source: La catastrophe ecologique moderne. Entretien avec Augustin Berque. Krisis, 2018 – 2 – No. 49, “Nature ?”

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