What Do I Mean by an Ecological Viewpoint?

In cyclic causality, the effects themselves become the cause of the causes. The view from the center—a summation of all genes, that is, the genome—belongs together with the view from the periphery—the living proteins of the cell, the tissues, the organs, the interrelationships within the organism, and the organism’s embeddedness in its habitat, its oikos [Gk. οἶκος, household, dwelling place]. Instead of environment or “outer world” [Umwelt], it is therefore better to speak of “convironment” or “co-world” [Mitwelt], as there is no such thing as a closed-off, genetic, inner world or a separate “environment”. 1 The whole periphery is also participating. This is the ecological viewpoint.

From Wolfgang Schad, Der periphere Blick: Die Vervollständigung der Aufklärung [The View from the Periphery: The Consummation of the Enlightenment] (Freies Geistesleben, 2014).

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Graphic Sofia Lismont

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  1. Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich, Wissenschaft für die Zukunft: Holistisches Denken in ökologischer und gesellschaftlicher Verantwortung [Science for the Future: Holistic Thinking in Ecological and Civic Responsibility] (Beck, 1988).

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