Overcoming Physicophobia – Forests as the Sacred Source of Our Human Origins

Jackson, Roy ORCID: 0000-0003-3923-9513 (2011) Overcoming Physicophobia – Forests as the Sacred Source of Our Human Origins. In: New Perspectives on People and Forests. Springer, pp. 29-38. ISBN 978-9400711495

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Many philosophers have written about the forests and their relation to human nature. The great modern philosopher and rationalist Rene Descartes saw the forest as a realm of chaos and disorder and, therefore, alien to the ordered, rational human being. In other words, we have a “psychophobia” attitude to the forest. Yet, he believed, Man can conquer the forest and make it in Man’s image. This in many ways symbolises the Enlightenment Project; imposing mankind’s rational faculties upon the world and making use of it as a resource. Yet other philosophers, of a more Romantic bent, see the forests from a very different perspective. This chapter looks at the views of two such critics of modernity: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Nietzsche. While both acknowledged the value of reason as a human capacity, they also saw the importance of emotion and the spirit as part of our human make-up. Rather than “psychophobia”, we should appreciate our affinity to the forest, a “psychophilia”, which acts as an aid in connecting with human beings’ more passionate and spiritual side.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 13:53
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:56
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2596

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