17 décembre – Visioconférence d’Elena Casetta, Università di Torino – « Naturalness as independence: a theoretical framework for nature conservation »

Elena Casetta, chercheuse à l’Università di Torino (Italie), donnera une visioconférence au GRÉEA intitulée « Naturalness as independence: a theoretical framework for nature conservation ».

Mardi 17 décembre, 10h-12h
Carrefour des arts et des sciences, salle C-2059
Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, 3150 rue Jean-Brillant,

Université de Montréal, Montréal

La conférence sera donnée en anglais, avec une période de discussion en français/anglais.


In common language, we ascribe several significances at the term “nature”. Two are particularly relevant in the context of nature conservation: “nature” as the subject-matter of physics or natural sciences (i.e. “natural” as opposed to “supernatural”); and nature as contrasted with art, craftwork, or culture (i.e. “natural” as opposed to “artificial”). The first meaning does not imply a counter position between human beings and the rest of nature, human beings and the products of their activities are just a part of nature. However, if we place ourselves within a definition of nature, the definition becomes essentially meaningless by extending to everything on Earth. The second meaning, on the contrary, does imply a counter position between human beings and the rest of nature: something is natural if it is independent of our making or if it is untouched by our activities. Yet, if nature is defined by our absence, then, because of the pervasiveness of our species and its activities, there would be simply no nature left to be conserved. Shall we just get rid of “nature” and “natural” from conservational discourse?  I do not think so. I am going to argue that nature conservation seems to require a more dynamic view of the relation between nature and our species. I will sketch such a view and I will consider its possible merits in the light of some examples.