Subversions and Transformations
This chapter shows how ecology, literally and metaphorically, affords a model for rethinking the established theories of knowledge, and relations between humanity and the other-than-human, that characterize the social imaginary of the post-Enlightenment western world. Ecology figures as a study of habitats where people can live well together; of the ethos and habitus enacted in the customs, social organizations, and creative-regulative principles by which they strive or fail to achieve this end. Focusing on a shift in Rachel Carson’s thinking from geographical to ecological, and drawing on Kristin Shrader-Frechette’s analysis of ecological science, the chapter draws a parallel between Carson’s tacit epistemology and that of biologist Karen Messing to develop the working conception of ecology that informs the argument of the book. A reclamation of testimony as a source of evidence is central to the argument.
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