I’m re-writing the entire thesis. Hence the delay in posting. When I have a version of Ch One that’s roughly comprehensible, I’ll upload it. During the course of copying and pasting sections from a vast number of other documents (that’s how I’m writing my thesis, like a mad and messy version of painting by numbers but less creatively satisfying) I came across the following (was a footnote, will now appear as text):
Those who call into question the wisdom of policies and practices which demand a re-balancing of human with non-human interests are sometimes called ‘human-hating’ (on the other hand, those who call for such a re-balancing are just as often themselves called ‘anti-human’. See, for instance, Patrick Moore’s website). Robin Attfield finds it incomprehensible that we could view the complex cognitive capacities as anything but ‘higher’ processes, which are intrinsically more valuable than ‘lower’ processes like photosynthesis; J. Baird Callicott recanted his own outspoken position on a rethinking of prioritising human over other interests for land use or animal husbandry in his Palinode. To venture to question that human capacities are indeed at the apex of the evolutionary (Christmas?) tree is seen as little less than heresy.
Heresy. What a wonderful world. I am a heretic and I didn’t even realise it. Well, it may explain the John, crying in the wilderness, feel about all this. Alright, I know, that’s just plain arrogant. But at least grant me that there’s a sense in which a heretic is never going to be deeply popular or even in tune with the current groove (let alone wealthy or employable – which reminds me of a joke my son told me the other day: X is a philosopher and a poet, which is just a polite way of saying ‘long term unemployed’ …)