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dc.contributor.author Norwick, Stephen en
dc.date.accessioned 2011-03-09T20:58:22Z en
dc.date.available 2011-03-09T20:58:22Z en
dc.date.issued 2011-03-09 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.1/791 en
dc.description.abstract It is a commonplace in the most intellectual environmental circles, that Plato denigrated physical reality with his theory of the Forms, and that Christian Platonism is responsible for much of the damage that European cultures have done and continue to do to nature (most notably Nietzsche and later the American novelist and essayist Edward Abbey). This theory has bothered me for some time because Ralph Waldo Emerson, the philosophical originator of the environmental movement, was a neo-Platonist. How could Platonism have been the cause of very negative attitudes toward nature and two thousand years later be the root of the rediscovery of the value of nature? That is the central question in this essay. The idea of the Forms is most powerfully present in Plato’s myth of the cave, that depends on the image of light as truth and goodness, versus matter, shadow and darkness as error and ignorance and perhaps evil. This essay will ask the questions: what is the relationship between the European association of darkness and the earth and evil? What role does the image of light and shadow play in the history of our feeling for nature in general? Is light necessarily associated with goodness, and truth? When and where has light or shadow also been associated with all of nature? This essay is a history of Zoroastrianism and Platonism and their influence on the feelings for and against nature in European thought as these powerful ideas and images twisted and doubled back on themselves over 3500 years of religion, philosophy, literature and science. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject idolatry en
dc.subject Platonism en
dc.subject transcendentalism en
dc.subject environmentalism en
dc.title The Cave and the Light of God: Idolatry, Platonism, Transcendentalism and the Foundations of the Environmental Movement en
dc.type Other en
dc.contributor.sonomaauthor Norwick, Stephen en

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