Conference of Yves Bonnardel: “The idea of nature and of intervention in nature” | 13/10/16

The GRÉEA is happy to open its fall season of public conferences with a talk of Yves Bonnardel (independent researcher) on: “The idea of nature and of intervention in nature”.

When:  Thursday, October 13th, 17h -18h30 p.m.
Where: Room 422, Department of philosophy, Pavillon 2910, boul. Édouard-Montpetit, Université de Montréal
Free entrance

The conference will be in French but the following discussion is open to both French and English speakers.


“Nature” does not exist. Ideas such as “nature of things (“nature des choses”) or “natural order are only beliefs. They are not scientific ideas and we know now pretty well their ideological and political history. In fact, when people usually talk about “Nature”, this is often done at the expense of ethical thought. What is “natural” is believed to be good, right or desirable, thus preventing any kind of moral questioning. The common sacralization of “Nature” takes an active part in this. In addition, our society likes to draw a line between what should fall within the ethical and/or the political realms (the “Humanity’s”ones) and what is only subject to hazard or to a cruel order, where the law of the strongest/fittest could not leave any space for ethics whatsoever. Against these views, what a come back to rationality, ethical thought and political analysis would imply with regards to our relations with other animals and/or the environment at large?

See also:

Bonnardel, Yves (2005), “Doing away with the concept of Nature, back to ethics and politics“, Les Temps Modernes.