The Human Scaffold: How Not to Design Your Way Out of a Climate Crisis

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Univ of California Press, Mar 23, 2021 - Climatic changes - 256 pages
"Humanity has precipitated a planetary crisis of resource consumption--a crisis of stuff. Indeed, so accustomed are we to living with stuff, it has become difficult to imagine ways out of the environmental crisis that do not come down to substituting a new package of material artifacts (perhaps with a smaller carbon footprint) for those we have today. In The Human Scaffold, anthropologist and philosopher Josh Berson offers a new theory of adaptation to environmental change. Drawing on niche construction, evolutionary game theory, and the enactive view of cognition, Berson considers cases in the archaeology of adaptation in which technology in the conventional, that is, material, sense was virtually absent. Far from being isolated events, these cases exemplify a pervasive feature of human cultural evolution with implications for our own time. In a time when more and more of us are reconsidering our relationship to stuff, we need to ask what the environmental crisis demands of us not as consumers but as biological beings. The Human Scaffold offers a starting point"--
 

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Contents

Scaffolds
30
Equilibria
55
Landscapes
76
4boro Landscapes and Scaffolds
110
Ditch Kit
125
Glossary
169
Notes
175
Sources
193
Index
209
Copyright

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About the author (2021)

Josh Berson has held appointments at two Max Planck Institutes--Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and the History of Science--and at the Berggruen Institute, where he was inaugural USC Berggruen Fellow in the Transformations of the Human. He is the author of The Meat Question: Animals, Humans, and the Deep History of Food and Computable Bodies: Instrumented Life and the Human Somatic Niche.

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