Book: Humans and Their Environment, Beyond the Nature/Culture Opposition

by Claude Calame

Published: 10 April 2023 [ Environmental Humanities Series: 1 ]
Series Editors: Prof Peggy Karpouzou and Dr Nikoleta Zampaki
: ISBN: 978-1-80135-184-3 Buy from Amazon | Buy from Lulu
Digital: ISBN: 978-1-80135-185-0 Read on Google PlayRead on Kindle | Read on CEEOL

The modern concept of “nature” appeared during the 17th Century: nature as a mechanical object to be submitted to reason man. A long tradition refers to the concept of nature in the Greek phusis. It is referring to a dynamic process that engages in criticizing the modern paradigm of nature as opposed to culture.
As it is, the principle of the domination and exploitation by humans of what we consider as nature is at the heart of the ideological, economic and financial models imposed by neoliberal capitalism. Based on the objective of growth, this model shapes and destroys human communities as well as the environment on which they rely and sustain.
The climatic urgency as well as the limited capacity of the resources of the earth, require a transition towards an ecosocialism for another world. The anthropological confrontation with the Greek phusis invites to a break with capitalism based on a large scale and speedy use of technologies and with the only objective of financial gain. The result has been destructive productivism. Instead, we have to take into account the complexity of and interactions between human societies and their technical practices in their environment. The survival of one or the other is at stake. In sum, nature is culture.


  • ​​​​​​​Preface to the English Edition. 3
  • Introduction. 9
  • Between Nature and Culture. 15
  • I. Humans and Their Milieu in Ancient Greece. 19
  • II. From the Enlightenment Philosophers to Modern Anthropologists 37
  • III. Beyond Anthropological Determinisms: Permeabilities 47
  • IV. The Human Being and its Environment: Interactive Relationships 57
  • V. For an Ecosocialist Understanding of Humans and their Milieu. 65

About the Author:

Claude Calame is the Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (Centre AnHiMA: Anthropologie et Histoire des Mondes Antiques). He is a historian and anthropologist interested in Greek culture and poetry. In English, he published The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press 1999), Masks of Authority. Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Poetics (Cornell University Press 2005), Greek Mythology. Poetics, Pragmatics and Fiction (Cambridge University Press 2009).

Product Details:

ISBN (Print): 978-1-80135-184-3
ISBN (Digital): 978-1-80135-185-0
Series: Environmental Humanities
Publisher: Transnational Press London
Published: 10 April 2023
Language: English
Pages: 101
Binding: Paperback
Interior Ink: Black & white
Weight (approx.): 0.4 kg
Dimensions (approx.): 15cm wide x 23cm tall

DisclaimerOpinions expressed in articles are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of other members of the Global Ecosocialist Network

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