Cybernetics and Ecological Ethics - Gihan Soliman

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Cybernetics and Ecological Ethics “The Real-living-system” approach Gihan Sami Soliman [*] University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences Submitted to the United Nation Post2015 Preparatory publication to the

Sustainability Cybernetics Journal© ISSN 2057-0430

It’s impossible to go through ecological

- leaves no space for environmental

ethics debate without ever wondering;

ethics. One of them, respectively, is

but what is nature? In an attempt to

reductional of species and landscapes

reach a balanced position that would

while the other might deem all ethical



choices as morally “good” in a “natural

Peterson (1999) suggested a sort of

fallacy”. The solution according to

“productive tension between realism

Peterson would be a “constrained”



realism" which, as attractive as it

constructivists, nature is appreciated

seems, lacks justification through a

as a cultural product. It is either

mono-speciality perspective.




structured linguistic

exclusively interpretation

through of


All systems according to James G.



Miller’s (1978) Living System Theory

physically structured by and through

(cited in Umpleby, 2004) process data,

human cultures. Naturalists, on the

energy and/or matter. This applies to

other hand, regard human beings as

biological systems; such as cells,

one species among millions of other

molecules, organs and organism, as

living organisms and natural objects

well as self-regulatory machines and

contributing to the structure of life on

social entities such as corporates and

earth. Peterson did not challenge any

nations (Umpleby, 2004). Energy and

of such “appreciations” in principle but

matter are inter-reversible and often

rather in praxis: Adopting any of such

treated as “one entity” in biology, while

views in their extremes - as she notes

in physics the law regulating them is