Journal of Environmental Peace

Issue 1, 2002

Links to Articles

The Dynamics of
Peace

Ecological Peace:
A Systematic View
of the Biosphere

Feedback and
Dis-Equilibrium
in Human
Overpopulation

Geetaa and Peace

Holism and
Reductionism in
Ecological Science

 

Articles: Issue1, 2002

CONTENTS WITH ABSTRACTS

The Dynamics of Peace by Biswajit Ganguly and Roger Hansell.
Peace is defined for individuals, groups, nations and systems as the condition of minimal stress. It is obtained by the process of relaxing tensions until there is a balance between tensions so that stress becomes a minimum. Such a condition can be unstable, stable for a time (semi-stable), or locally stable but easily displaced (meta-stable) or truly stable in an enduring sense. We examine some dynamics for identifying and relaxing tensions from individual to individual, individual to group, group to group, and so on to relaxing tensions of the economies with the ecosystem. We propose that such a program is prescriptive for world peace.
Keywords and Phrases: behaviour, common humanity, desertification, ecosystem, game theory, meta-stable, optimality, relaxing tensions, semi-stable, stability, un-stable, world peace 

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Ecological Peace: A Systemic View of the Biosphere by Anatol Rapoport
The concept of ecological peace will be discussed here in the light of a theory of living systems.
Keywords and Phrases: biodiversity, collective, conservationism, ecosystem, egalite, enemy, fraternite, genocide, hierarchy, homo sapiens, mould values, probability, subsystem, supersystem, using people as tools.
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Feedback and Dis-Equilibrium in Human Overpopulation  

by Steven B. Kurtz
Overwhelming evidence has engendered a consensus among global scientists that the human population level and trend are unsustainable. Although we are part of nature, we may have some choice in the ongoing process of which our numbers are but one variable. Individual, social, and institutional factors are examined, and policy options are considered. Evidence is given debunking the claim that the rich attempt to coerce poor nations to reduce fertility. Carrying capacity and optimum population concepts are discussed, particularly as to equilibrium potential. Prospects for pro-active success are entertained.
Keywords: biodiversity, distributional criteria, environ-ment, human values, population, sociobiology.
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Geetaa and Peace by Samprasad Majumdar
The Bhagavad-Geetaa (BG) is introduced in the light of its words and aphorisms of peace and their applications to the lives and practices of elevated persons; to the persons who are God's favorite, to the happiest - recipients of Godhead. Also outlined is its delineation on the signs of godly persons, the sages and the saints and their divine nature, and the attributes of the demoniac persons. A few quotations from the BG on happiness and peace are also added, along with a list of other Geetaas, and a Bibliography, for completeness.
Keywords: Brahma-Sootras, Hinduism, Mahaa-Bhaarata, Raamaayana, Samadhi, Supersoul, Upani-shads, Vedas. 
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Holism and Reductionism in Ecological Science by Laurent Leduc
Both holism and reductionism are valued approaches to our ability to know and live well in the world. While Whitehead noted dangers in reductionism, Lonergan emphasized its potential for enrichment. Reductionism has close links with mechanistic views of the world. It is important to distinguish carefully between methodo-logical reductionism and ontological reductionism. While our view of the word is not reality, it is important that the view we hold does not contradict the Earth process. Human thinking, talking, living, and acting ought to creatively complement Earth activity. The notion of stewardship, when applied on a planetary scale is problematic. Science proceeds by making distinctions, including the primary distinction of observer and observed. If that primary distinction is forgotten, the worldview assumed by researchers invites ontological reductionism. Science has trans-scientific value as community story. While science is not designed for narrative purposes, the product of the systematic inquiry into nature offers the potential for an integrative story that situates the human in the larger scheme of things. In such a story we find meaning and guidance. Several historical examples of rational, holistic approaches are offered, including contemporary work in Earth system science. As the consequences of human activity threaten the stability of the Earth system in which human life emerged and functions, the need for a participative consciousness becomes clear. A new cognitive humility that appreciated the limitations of knowing is required. Knowledge is not a corres-pondence between an out-there world and the data of consciousness. Knowledge is embedded in concrete structures and relationships whereby human activity and Earth activity are mutually supportive. The validation of knowledge is through long-term community viability whereby the Earth-Human enter-prise can continue its creative journey.
Keywords: act of distinction, abstraction, cognitional theory, potential eco-catastrophy, Gaia, holism, knowledge, reductionism, stewardship, superorganism, worldview. 
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