Post-rational eco-communicological aporias, pre-rational eco-communicological euporias: the “magical worldview” and restoring a meaningful man-nature dialogue
Keywords:magical, religion, global society, cosmonomy, cosmodicy, environmental affordance, song culture, hieroglossia, enchantment, archaic Hellenic, incantatory magic, ethology
This essay argues that contemporary Global Society’s biggest ‘communication challenge’ is to find ways to interface and dialogue meaningfully with its more-than-human Umwelt. It shows that communication strategies premised by the tenets of ‘constructivism’ and ‘realism’ do not work. Neither do ‘consiliant’ syntheses of these two approaches. Instead, it suggests that a better solution lies in emulating the communication strategies associated with the ‘magical worldview’. Specifically, it focuses on (1) why magical rationalism assumed that Nature had a voice and a language (2) how the intelligence related by this language was made a foundation and an operational component of societal values and practices and, finally, (3) why there is nothing far-fetched about embracing this rationalism, factoring it into our ideas about ‘progress’ and operationalising it as a means to negotiate an entente cordiale between Nature and Global Society.
This paper is one of a collection that originated in the IAHR Special Conference “Religions, Science and Technology in Cultural Contexts: Dynamics of Change”, held at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology on March 1–2, 2012. For an overall introduction see the article by Ulrika Mårtensson, also published here.
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