Michael R. Dove (Yale University) announces the publication by Yale University Press in 2021 of “Bitter Shade: The Ecological Challenge of Human Consciousness.”
This book asks an age-old question about the relationship between human consciousness and the environment: How do we think about our own thoughts and actions? How do we achieve the distance from our own everyday realities needed to think and act more sustainably? How do we develop science that both transcends the scientist’s own circumstances and offers insight into contemporary science skepticism?
To address these questions, Michael R. Dove draws on the results of decades of research in South and Southeast Asia on how local cultures have circumvented the “curse of consciousness”—the paradox that we cannot completely comprehend the ecosystem of which we are part. He distills from his ethnographic, ecological, and historical research three principles: perspectivism (seeing oneself from outside oneself), metamorphosis (becoming something that one is not), and mimesis (copying something that one is not), which help a society to transcend the hubris and myopia of everyday existence and achieve greater insight into its ecosystem.