Reid, Herbert G. and Taylor, Betsy, :John Dewey’s Aesthetic Ecology of Public Intelligence and the Grounding of Civic Environmentalism” in Ethics & the Environment – Volume 8, Number 1, Spring 2003, pp. 74-92
This paper argues for the importance of John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy to recent efforts to cultivate civic environmentalism while critiquing narrowly conservationist environmentalisms. We call for a strong version of civic environmentalism oriented towards holistic integration of ecological concerns into all aspects of social, political, economic, and cultural life. Such a civic environmentalism argues that it is not enough to strive to preserve enclaved ‘wilderness’ or ‘biodiversity’ (as important as that is). It argues also for fundamental changes in the political and economic status quo, because ecological havoc is understood to be integrally linked with the structural forces that are increasing inequality and weakening democratic.
Phi Beta Iota: Since this article was written, two things have happened: first, the literature on ecological economics (Herman Daly), natural capitalism (Paul Hawken), and sustainable design (various) has matured, along with a literature on biomimicry, green chemisty, and zero waste; and second, there has been a convergence among the Collective Intelligence, Conscious Evolution, and Voices of the Dispossessed movements (somewhere in here Education and especially Pedagogy of Freedom comes into play). Existing governments and corporations are static and archaic. Even such companies as Google are in elementary school and lack ethics to boot. The way is open for a bottom-up citizen-centered infrastructure-independent movement, what we have been calling the Open Everything movement.