The Deep or the Deep? Different Approaches to Nature in Czechia and Norway Gratis
Welcome to a workshop with three Czech environmentalists
Tomáš Daněk, Ľuboš Slovák and Nikola Benčová from the DeepEn project will introduce the historic context of the Czech environmentalism, a distinctive local philosophy of nature and possible paths forward. Tomas, Lubos and Nikola invite the students to un-cover and discuss the extent to which the Czech and Norwegian ‘ecosophies’ are (or are not) historically, politically and otherwise similar. How can insights from Arne Næss’s deep ecology and the historical experience of Czech environmentalism enrich environmental humanities, on deeply experiential and practical levels?
The Czech environmental thinking was first formed by the communist totality, later by a bustling development following the regime-shift. This specific situation reserved the environmental topics in Czechia exclusively to natural sciences. There were only a few philosophers or sociologists who paid any attention to environmental concerns. Still, the oppression itself led to the emergence of a dissident educational structure, creating a base for a distinctive form of philosophy of nature. This was based mostly on Greek philosophy and continental phenomenology, though also informed by biology. Nowadays, despite a continuous dominance of the natural sciences in the climate-discourse worldwide, the ongoing climate change forges new collaborations across domains. Also in Czechia, areas such as psychology, sociology or even the arts have now established environmental lenses to their disciplines. What are the dynamics between the current climate-discourse on one hand and the dissident, historically underground, ecophilosophies on the other? Can these local and context specific environmental philosophies help see and experience nature, on the verge of nature’s (conceptual and real) disappearance? Tomas, Lubos and Nikola will discuss how the historically embedded realities of the Czech academic and cultural floors respond to this development and about the benefits and downsides of some of its polarities.
The specifics of the Czech case help unpack the socio-political and philosophical conundrum in which the European environmental humanities lie deeply embedded. Unfolding the many challenges through the comparison of Norway and the Czech Republic allows for a grounded understanding of how and why direct experiential relationship with nature figures in environmental and climate-change thinking.