The Metaphysics of Nature



The radical alteration of the state of the planet through anthropogenic factors has prompted a deeper critical awareness and active engagement of our conceptualisation of nature. Increasingly this critical awareness questions the deeply-embedded concepts that structure the human-nature relationship itself, realising the need to go beyond scientific or market based solutions that seek to manage the problem. This has presented an opportunity that the growing field of religion and the environment seeks to address. The central claim of this book project is that the transcendent metaphysics of philosophical and religious realism, in particular that expressed by the long Platonic and Christian Platonist traditions, is essential for reconceptualising our concepts of nature and the place of humans within it. This position holds that ideals are real and exist independent of human thought, and that they are archetypical and constitutive of all objects through their participation. Such a claim is intentionally provocative as the tradition of transcendent metaphysics has been singled out as responsible for facilitating a history of environmental degradation.