Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 2 (2016)

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Ecopsychology: Remembering the True Source of our Consciousness

Glenn Aparacio Parry

Abstract


Mainstream psychology is limited by the a-priori assumption that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain; while the emergent discipline of ecopsychology posits the whole of Nature as the source of our consciousness. Ecopsychologists contend that we do not think independently from nature-that it is the living elements of Nature from which human consciousness co-arises. The formal academic discipline of psychology-  formed in the late 19th century-attempted to isolate human consciousness from the rest of Nature. Mainstream psychology is not unique in this attempt; nearly all other academic disciplines, including economics, are based on a similar abstract separation from Nature in an attempt to maintain scientific objectivity. In the past century, quantum theory upended the conventional separation between observer and observed, but mainstream psychology failed to adapt. Ecopsychology, through reestablishing connection to Nature, is a movement in the right direction of dissolving the dichotomous split in consciousness. It must avoid the pitfalls of academe, however, and not become an abstract discipline.

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