Kidner, David W.
Environmental Ethics Vol. 22/4 (2000), pages 339-57
Models of nature have usually referred to ecological, or more generally, scientific understandings, and have seldom included cultural factors. Recently, however, there has been a trend toward defining nature as a “social construction,” that is, as an artifact of human social and linguistic capability. I argue that constructionism attempts to assimilate nature to an exclusively anthropocentric “reality,” and that it should be seen as expressing long-term industrialist tendencies to separate the “human” and the “natural” realms and to assimilate the latter to the former. Consequently, the constructionist approach, rather than offering us a fertile means of incorporating cultural influences within environmental theorizing, is better viewed as a cognitive counterpart to industrialism’s physical assimilation of the natural world.