Section III. Alienation from Nature: How it Arose

Track 2: (Bilingual)  How Have the Enlightenment and Industrialization Reshaped the Relation to the Natural World?     
(Zhihe Wang and Guosheng Wu)


The European enlightenment emphasized science, individual liberty, and respect for persons, but neglected community and tradition. It intensified alienation from the rest of nature by treating it as different in substance (Descartes) and developing industrial methods of exploiting it. The track will consider its effects in the West and its later effects on other cultures, especially China.



Session 1.  Zhihe Wang and Rick Smyre will provide an overview of the track with a focus on the important role the European Enlightenment has played in world history, especially through its expression in the American Revolution,  and the need now for a Second Enlightenment

Session 2.  Jane Douglass will lead a discussion of the late Medieval, Reformation, and Renaissance background for the Western Enlightenment

Session 3.  Rick Smyre and Andrew Schwartz will focus on the Enlightenment figures who were most influential in the shaping of modern science and on the American Revolution.  

Session 4. Ward McAfee will lead a discussion about the American Revolution as an expression of the Enlightenment

Session 5. Guosheng Wu will focus on how scientism has become prevailed in modern China

Session 6. Lili Song will talk about the Culture Ambiguity and Paradox in the Context of Chinese Industrialization and Urbanization

Session 7. Yuze Pang and Chunyao Meng will speak about the influence of Enlightenment Anthropocentricism on modernChina’s view of nature

Session 8.  An evaluation of the positive and negative effects of the Enlightenment globally, with a special focus on China and planning how to share these results with the wider community.  .