Ecosophy - Félix Guattari

Félix Guattari

Ecosophy also refers to a field of practice introduced by psychoanalyst, poststructuralist philosopher and political activist Félix Guattari. In part Guattari's use of the term demarcates what he observes as the necessity for the proponents of social liberation whose struggles in the 20th century were dominated by the paradigm of social revolution and Marxism to embed their arguments within an ecological framework which understands the interconnections of social and environmental spheres.

Guattari holds that traditional environmentalist perspectives obscure the complexity of the relationship between humans and their natural environment through its maintenance of the dualistic separation of human (cultural) and nonhuman (natural) systems; he envisions ecosophy as a new field with a monistic and pluralistic approach to such study. Ecology in the Guattarian sense then, is a study of complex phenomena, including human subjectivity, the environment, and social relations, all of which are intimately interconnected. Despite this emphasis on interconnection, throughout his individual writings and more famous collaborations with Gilles Deleuze, Guattari has resisted calls for holism, preferring to emphasize heterogeneity and difference, synthesizing assemblages and multiplicities in order to trace rhizomatic structures rather than creating unified and holistic structures.

Without modifications to the social and material environment, there can be no change in mentalities. Here, we are in the presence of a circle that leads me to postulate the necessity of founding an "ecosophy" that would link environmental ecology to social ecology and to mental ecology. —Guattari 2000:27

Guattari's concept of the three interacting and interdependent ecologies of mind, society, and environment stems from the outline of the three ecologies presented in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, a collection of writings by cyberneticist Gregory Bateson.

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