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Nature's Due: Healing Our Fragmented Culture [Paperback]

Brian Goodwin

Price: CDN$ 33.66 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

May 1 2007
This book is presented by an acclaimed author in his field. It challenges the ideas of our modern scientific culture and its far-reaching consequences for how we understand and relate to the natural world. Our scientific culture, which gave birth to modern technology, is in desperate need of change. Science has largely meant groups of specialists working in separate disciplines, seeking answers to narrowly defined questions which have little or nothing to do with the living world. The last few years, however, have seen a shift to a more integrated, holistic approach to how we view and understand our world. There is still much work to be done. Most modern people have come to accept a fragmented culture whereby science isolates us from the natural world. As a result, we feel we can govern it and dominate it as we please. Brian Goodwin, acclaimed author of "How the Leopard Changed Its Spots", argues for a view of nature as complex, interrelated networks of relationships. He proposes that, in order for us to once again work with nature to achieve true sustainability on our planet, we need to adopt a new science, new art, new design, new economics and new patterns of responsibility. We must be willing to pay nature its due: to recognise what we owe to the natural world and resist exploiting it solely for our own ends. This is an ambitious, wide-ranging book with far-reaching consequences, and will be essential reading for all those interested in how nature and human culture can co-exist in the future.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books (May 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863155960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863155963
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #576,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'This remarkable book is Brian Goodwin's biological testament, summing up the work he has been doing throughout his career since the 1960s along with the many major scientific advances since that period ... In understanding nature more deeply, we understand ourselves more profoundly. This book is a brilliant articulation of this process, pointing to the emergence of a new culture of co-operation and harmony.' -- David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review, Summer 2007 'Superb ... highly recommended.' -- Yoga Scotland, September 2007 'Goodwin's book holds in it the excitement of new beginnings. It reads like a primer for the Great Work. It has a breath-taking range of scholarship that takes the reader on a journey of discovery through cultural history, scientific history, paradigm change, modern systems theory, chaos theory, evolutionary biology and a new field called biological hermeneutics.' -- Edmund O'Sullivan, Resurgence, November-December 2007 'Thought-provoking, clearly conceived vision of health in individuals, communities and ecosystems. A call for a more integrated, holistic approach to how we view and understand our world ... words of wisdom during our global crises.' -- New Leaf News, Spring 2009 'Nature's Due is a fascinating and important book. It's one of those books that can frunish you with serviceable building blocks for a worldview.' -- www.greenprophet.com

About the Author

Professor Brian Goodwin (1931-2009) was born in Montreal and studied biology at McGill University before reading mathematics at the University of Oxford and doing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh with C.H. Waddington. His university appointments were at Sussex and the Open University, and he was on the Science Board of the prestigious Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. He currently teaches Holistic Science at Schumacher College in Devon, UK. He is the author of How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: the Evolution of Complexity and Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology, as well as several other books.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature and Culture have more in common than we think Aug. 11 2009
By Erland.Lagerroth - Published on Amazon.com
The title of Brian Goodwin's almost sensational book Nature's Due. Healing Our Fragmented Culture from 2007 is a pun: It means both Nature is due and Nature's due (our debt to Nature). Goodwin demonstrates that nature and culture have more in common than we think. In the same way as a reader interprets a written text, organisms create meaning of their genetic texts "by expressing them in a form (morphology and behaviour) appropriate to their habitat and their history" (99). Nature and culture "are understood to be one continous and unified creative process, not two domains that are distinguished by unique human attributes." (12) The concept of meaning belongs also to nature, in a "biological hermeneutics". The great enigma is "who" creates, and Goodwin emphasizes that it is not a "builder" in the form of a separate entity in a cell (105 f) but instead the process itself on the basis of a "morphogenetic field" in the form of "the pattern of relationships that exist in a developing organism at different levels of organization" (127). In this way the enigma of self-organization seems to be solved: at every level there is a "head" for the organization, from the beginning the fertilized egg, and then different combinations of cells, that this gives rise to. At the same time as there in the universe seems to be a creative power that forces it all. - Goodwin was the head of a oneyear-course in Holistic Science for MSc at Schumacher College in Devon in England. Tragically he died on July 15th 2009, 78 years old.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read but full of complex and important ideas March 12 2010
By J. Sheppard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brian Goodwin presents a synopsis of many of his ideas and those developed by others that have contributed to the application of the mathematical theories of complexity and chaos to living systems. It is a very readable account from a renowned scientist, who unfortunately passed away in 2009. Although sometimes criticized for mixing science with sociology and moral views, Goodwin is very clear in his praise for the scientific method and its success at solving many of the ills and problems that have faced mankind. On the other hand he convincingly points out the limitations of the current scientific approach and proposes that we are on the cusp of developing a new paradigm that shifts our world-view from that of a mechanical system of cause and effect to a view that life is full of meaning and is better studied and understood as a relationship between a living process and its environment. This is a thought-provoking book and a must read for all those interested in the philosophy of science.

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