1. Wars in and out of the academy: Background and cultural context to the 'nature wars'
Academics have in recent years found themselves embroiled in a series of conflicts over the status of particular kinds of studies. Popularly, these have been given names like the "culture wars," the "curriculum wars," and the "science wars." In the "science wars," for instance, Paul Gross and Norman Levitt (1994; Gross, Levitt et al. 1996), Alan Sokal (1996), and others,2 have taken it upon themselves to defend the edifice of scientific rationality from what they perceive to be an irrational mob of "academic Leftists," postmodernists, deconstructionists, cultural relativists, "epistemological democrats," and science studies scholars. To this "mob" they sometimes add ecofeminists, "Edenic" environmentalists and "neo-Luddites," astrologers and New Age cultists, scientific creationists, and even neo-Nazis; more to the point, among the culprits Gross and Levitt have singled out as especially dangerous are influential scholars like anthropologist of science Bruno Latour, feminist historians of science Sandra Harding and Donna Haraway, philosophers like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, and many other prominent names in late twentieth-century intellectual life.
What is perhaps not surprising is that these wars in academia have arisen at a time when funding for academic research is being cut back, and when competition among academics has thereby been intensified. Some of those criticized by Gross and Levitt have taken their attack as a sign that science studies, cultural studies, and related fields have at last attained recognition: they are perceived, rightly or wrongly, as dangerous rather than merely misguided or inconsequential, and their growing stature is envied by their opponents [e.g., Haraway, 1995].
A similar situation of competition for support could account for some of the divisions in the ranks of environmentalists and environmental philosophers. Just as the environmental movement as a whole has frequently divided itself (say, between the more liberal, moderate, lobbyist groups and the more radical grassroots activists), so radical ecology theorists have themselves quibbled over whose theory is more radical and more capable of explaining the environmental crisis. The best known of these latter conflicts is that between "social ecologist" Murray Bookchin and "deep ecologists" like George Sessions, Bill Devall, and Dave Foreman. Bookchin and his colleagues at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont have derided the conceptual eclecticism as well as the biocentrism of deep ecology; while the deep ecologists have, in turn, lamented Bookchin's pronounced anthropocentric humanism. In a related skirmish, ecofeminists have debated with those same deep ecologists over the role of patriarchal assumptions in the environmental crisis and in the deep ecology movement itself.
More recently, some of these same theorists have noticed their own projects coming under fire from very different directions. Most obvious has been the anti-environmentalist backlash of the so-called "wise use" movement and the numerous published attacks on radical environmentalism (Lewis 1992; Bailey 1993; Rubin 1994; Bailey 1995; Chase 1995; Easterbrook 1995; Ferry 1995; Wildavsky 1995). From another direction, the environmental justice movement has critiqued the prevalence of white, eurocentric and racist assumptions within the environmental movement (Dowie 1995). 3 The emergence of this movement has been greeted positively by Greenpeace, Earth Island Institute, and other, usually more grassroots environmental groups; but some deep ecologists have lamented it as a misguided "anthropocentric" attempt to steer environmentalists away from the real tragedy: the destruction of natural ecosystems.
The broader context of the "nature wars" includes the debate over the "naturalness" of wildlife management; questions over the extent of management and human shaping in pre-Columbian North America, and over the benefits of ecological restoration and the eradication of "exotic" species; and the move within ecological science away from notions of ecosystemic stability toward unstable, chaotic, and dynamic-system models of nature. If nature, as ecologists like Daniel Botkin (1990) point out, is always changing, then how can we claim to know what a landscape should be like? Environmentalist Bill McKibben (1990) may lament the "end of nature," but some environmental historians point out that nature has not been truly "pristine" and unshaped by humans for millennia, even in the seemingly less "humanized" landscapes of North America. Rather than "letting nature be," as some deep ecologists prefer, these critics assume we are forever doomed to managing nature, making decisions based on human needs and desires for what we would like "nature" to be.
At a 1994 seminar entitled "Reinventing Nature," held at the University of California at Irvine, over a dozen scholars gathered to try to make sense of the widely disparate ideas about nature present in popular and scientific discourses The seminar's results were compiled in a volume entitled Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature (Cronon 1995), in the introduction to which environmental historian William Cronon asks,
What happens to environmental politics, environmental ethics, and environmentalism in general once we acknowledge the deeply troubling truth that we can never know at first hand the world 'out there' -- the 'nature' we seek to understand and protect -- but must always encounter the world through the lens of our own ideas and imaginings?
The book's fifteen contributors attempt to get beyond the "naive realist" picture of nature to one which recognizes a human role in shaping both the world (nature out there) and the language with which we describe it ("nature" in quotation marks).
Perceiving a threat to the very concept of nature which they are passionately struggling to defend, radical ecologists have responded to this attempted "reinvention" of nature. In a collection of conference papers titled Reinventing Nature? Responses to Postmodern Deconstruction (1995), editors Michael Soule and Gary Lease take on the "social seige of nature," enlisting the aid of Western science as their ally in the defense of wild and living nature. In Lease's [:4] words, "There is a war over nature in progress and nature itself is in the middle -- caught in a crossfire of competing interests. Such a contest [...] is nothing less than the human struggle for access to reality."4 Along similar lines, leading deep-ecology advocate George Sessions has sought, in a recent series of articles [1995a; 1995b; 1996; cf. also Foreman, 1997], to defend the deep-ecology project from all its supposed enemies and threats; in his rather broad-stroked portrayal he includes among the latter postmodernists, deconstructionists, Marxists, ecofeminists, social ecologists, and the environmental justice movement.5
What we have, then, are a series of boundaries being set up between different parties to these "nature wars." On one side, postmodernist and social-constructionist cultural critics have questioned scientific and popular appeals to "nature," and suggested that radical environmentalists must reassess their arguments. "Nature," according to these critics, is neither neutral nor objective, and can no longer be appealed to as a "master sign" or "grounding signifier." As argued by the environmental justice movement, the discourse of the natural has too often been used by dominant interests to preserve class injustice, to separate elite environments from the smog-choked working class environs of cities, and to uphold sexism and racism, heterosexism, and the like.6
Radical ecologists have reacted by arguing that social constructionists and postmodernists, in their quest to abolish all metanarratives and deconstruct all discourse, have finally gone too far. There is, after all, a world out there, and it is being destroyed: wilderness areas are being logged out of existence; countryside is being paved over in favour of fossil-fueled, exhaust-emitting private vehicles; nuclear facilities are being built and exported to other countries, and their waste is left radioactive for millennia; species are going extinct at an alarming rate.
Is there any common ground to be found between the critical academics and the radical ecologists? In what follows, I will argue that there is, and that it can be found by taking one of two approaches. The first, which I would call an ontological approach, involves examining the assumptions behind social constructionist arguments, as well as those underlying radical ecologists' appeals to nature and to scientific authority. By working through what exactly is meant by such terms as "social construction," "nature," and "objectivity," I believe a mediating position can be found, where humans are seen as agents who socially and culturally shape the world, but always within a broader field of relations involving other kinds of agency, resistance, or limiting factors and constraints. Some theorists have argued for modifying constructivism with some notion of ecological realism (Hayles 1991) or with the recognition of nonhuman forms of agency (Haraway 1992). A spectrum of positions could be identified between extreme forms of anthropic constructivism and "ecological positivism."
Secondly, a common ground can be sought in a retrieval of the critical impulse that led to the emergence of both movements. Both radical ecology and postmodern constructivism began as critical projects aimed at challenging a modernist "military-industrial complex" of power/knowledge relations. Both were forwarded within a world that, to a large extent, is still common and shared: a world of large-scale environmental deterioration and ecological change; a world of gross social inequities; and a world in which transnational capital has become the dominant form of political and economic power. The different traditions of critical analysis diverge on many points, for instance, regarding the respective roles of racism, patriarchy, and so on; but there would seem to be enough overlap in their descriptions of the "problem" to make common cause at least a partial possibility.
Within the common world of their overlapping critical projects, icons, symbols, signifiers, and rhetorical appeals can all be deconstructed, but the question will remain: to what end? Whose interests are served by the arguments and activities of environmentalists, and whose are served by those of poststructuralist academics? Moreover, whose interests are served by the bickering between the two sides? The struggle over definitions of nature must, in the end, contend with the fact that even if humans culturally construct our notions of "reality," we still must do that. The broader-than-human world must somehow be represented in human discourse, and "nature," in this discursive arena, may still remain a useful concept. In the spectrum of its possible representations, we will have to decide which are more useful than others.
2. Clearing the ground: Strategies, appeals, positions, and caricatures
Before seeking common ground, it is necessary to clear the way through the surface strategies used by the different players in these "nature wars": strategies of appeal to various sorts of authority, strategies used to enlist and mobilize allies, and strategies of "encompassment," that is, how they attempt to classify their perceived opponents, and thus to carve out collective identities for themselves ("us") and for their opponents or "others" ("them"). The central player in the particular wave of the "nature wars" on which I wish to focus has been the biocentric deep ecologists: they have taken the (defensive) initiative in defending "nature" from its supposed attackers both among "wise use" anti-environmentalists, social ecologists, and postmodern deconstructionists. I will therefore focus the analysis that follows on their arguments, by asking: Who (or what) do they speak for? Who are their perceived opponents? And who do they try to enlist as their allies? And though the arguments by Soule, Lease, Sessions, and their allies, can be construed as caricatures and oversimplifications, it will help to clear the "surface" by taking these at their face value.
(1) For whom do they speak?
Sessions refers to his own movement, which he calls "the ecocentric Thoreau/Muir/Leopold/Carson-inspired environmental/ecology movement," as "the only truly radical movement of the 20th century" (1996: 36). Soule and Lease see themselves as defenders of wild and living nature.
(2 ) Who are their opponents?
Soule and Lease identify their opponents as postmodern deconstructionists, the capitalist right "Wise Use" movement, the Animal Rights movement, and the Social Ecology and Justice movement, who together are drawing on social constructionist arguments to stage a "social seige of nature." Sessions identifies the opponent as "the Leftist social justice takeover of the environmental/ecology movement" (1996: 36); in a longer list, he includes postmodernists, deconstructionists, Marxists, ecofeminists, Cartesians, continental phenomenologists, and names like Murray Bookchin, Donna Haraway, and Teilhard de Chardin. (Needless to say, one might wonder what such a heterogeneous coalition of opponents have in common other than the fact that Sessions dislikes all of them.) In his only, rather feeble attempt to define postmodernism, Sessions calls it "a 1960's spinoff from Marxism; a contemporary form of anthropocentric humanism which espouses cultural relativism, an antipathy to science, and a preference for cities." He continues by tracing this tradition back historically: "Actually," he writes, "the humanistic bias against both nonhuman Nature and a scientific understanding of the universe, extends back through Enlightenment humanism to Greek humanism with Socrates," and he ends by unfavourably comparing Socrates to Thoreau, because the former "rarely left the city." (1996: 33) In the end, though, Sessions says that the "top priority for anthropocentric postmodernists is promoting social justice and 'multiculturalism'."
(3) Whom do they enlist as their allies?
Both Sessions and Soule enlist the authority of objective Western science. Both, in fact, seem to have a particular fondness for sociobiologist E. O. Wilson, preferring his more essentialist brand of biology to that of the recent school of scientific ecologists (like Daniel Botkin et al.) who favour chaotic and inherently unstable models of nature. Sessions even makes particular use of a genetically reductionist language, speaking of humans as "genetically hardwired" or "genetically programmed for wild environments"; "humans," he writes, "have a universal genetically-based human nature" (whatever this might mean).
Like these deep ecologists, postmodern social constructionists, scientific rationalists, social ecologists, environmental justice activists, wise-use movement theoreticians and environmental optimists like Martin Lewis and Gregg Easterbrook, all attempt to position their own views as responses to the perceived deficiencies of others. To do so, they develop "self" and "other" group identities, appeal to authorities, and enlist and mobilize allies. Examining most of the latter groups would take this article too far afield; in any case, my concern here is the apparent rift between social constructionists and deep ecologists or, more broadly, ecological realists. Though I find Soule's and Lease's and especially Sessions' panicked battle cries rather overdrawn and theoretically confused, I am deeply sympathetic with their concerns. My focus here will thus be on the "nature wars" as these authors have constructed them.
Focusing on the main parties of these nature wars, at least three distinct positions have been carved out; these are always, to some degree, caricatures.
(1) Social constructionists and postmodernists:
Position (caricatured): Humans socially construct "nature", "reality," and everything else; we have no direct access to any "real" world "out there."
Intent: To criticize those who would claim certain kinds of social arrangements are "natural" and others are "unnatural" (e.g., homosexuality, the nuclear family, etc.).
(i) But there is a world "out there": "even if the furniture of the world doesn't really exist apart from the words I use to speak it, [...] I still bump into it all the time" (Freeman 1993: 13). Just because "nature" is a word -- and, as such, a human construct -- this doesn't mean there is no "real" nature and that it is not being destroyed.
(ii) But science does have a better access to the "real world" than other approaches, and to deny this is to open the way for all manner of irrationalism, relativism, nihilism, and the struggle for power among those who "shout the loudest."
(2) Deep ecologists or biocentrists:
Position: Nature has existed separately from humans; but now we are destroying it.
Intent: To preserve what is left of the natural world and its ecological communities from further destruction from industrial capitalism, etc.
(i) "Nature wild and pristine" is a romantic, eurocentric, androcentric illusion. In fact, some of those very environments which environmentalists have romantically assumed to be "pure" and "pristine" have been inhabited and shaped by humans for centuries. By this point in time, it can be argued that every habitable space on the planet has been affected or shaped, to some degree or other, by humans.
(ii) Leaving aside large tracts of wilderness for those wealthy enough to make use of them for wilderness experiences ignores the very real peril to people: pollution and degradation of cities, injustice in the distribution of this pollution, etc.
Next to these two, a third player, that of scientific rationalism, is enlisted as an ally by the deep ecologists and critiqued by the social constructionists. Thus:
(3) Rational scientific objectivists :
Position: There is a "real world" out there, the "truth" about which we can come to know directly through objective science; and that truth can be represented accurately through neutral scientific language. To criticize the scientific project is to support the rising tide of irrationalism and relativism.
Criticism (by social constructionists):
(i) Objectivity is a myth: we are always part of the world we describe, and can never step out of it to get a "God's-eye-view." All the different accounts of this world are relative to their social and historical contexts, and relations between them are imbued with power struggles.
Of course, these three positions are carved out within a broader network of relations between different scholarly communities. Social ecologists, for instance, appeal to the same scientific rationality as the deep ecologists in order to deny the arguments of the latter (regarding anthropocentrism, and so on). Science, for its part, is a vast assemblage of different positions, not all of which are adequately represented by such self-appointed defenders of the scientific project as Gross and Levitt.
To search for common ground between radical ecologists and social constructionists, however, the very notion of "social construction" needs to be examined.
3. The shapers and the shaped, the constructors and the constructed; or, who is an agent and who isn't, and are there any secret agents we might not know about?
The notion that the world is socially shaped or "constructed" evokes questions such as the following:
(1) Who is it that does the shaping, and what exactly is it that is being shaped?
(2) How is the world shaped or constructed?
(3) What kinds and what degrees of shaping are evident in different human societies?
Another way of phrasing the first question is: who is an 'agent', credited with causal efficacy in the shaping of the world, and who isn't? Different research traditions provide different accounts of who is and isn't an agent. Conventional social science, particularly of the social-constructionist variety, assumes humans to be the actors or agents, and nonhumans to be, for the most part, non-agents or, at best, of little significance for understanding society. Modern physical science, on the other hand, for the most part ignores subjective agents altogether, and instead grants the regularities or "laws" of nature a kind of agency or effectivity (which traditional or premodern societies might have ascribed to gods or other entities).
The difference between these two accounts suggests that there are different ways of shaping the world. Social constructionists generally focus on textual, discursive, and narrative practices; but surely there are other means, such as species-specific embodied perception and action, various technical, material and spatial practices, and so on. The work of certain ethologists, animal behaviourists, and cognitive biologists suggests that all organisms "construct" their worlds.7 Humans are not the only shapers of the world; rather, we exist and dwell in a broader-than-human world which is crafted in many ways by countless participants, each of which dwells in a uniquely subjective world, a world which ethologist Jakob von Uexküll has called the individual organism's Umwelt. Von Uexküll writes, "As the spider spins its threads, every subject spins his relations to certain characters of the things around him, and weaves them into a firm web which carries his existence" (von Uexküll 1957: 14). These "worlds," however, connect and interpenetrate with others to create intersubjectively shared worlds, whose character is constantly being produced, reproduced, and negotiated within spatial, material, imaginal, and interpretive practices. By expanding the notion of the "social construction of reality," then, to include bodily, symbolic-communicative, and non-linguistic (or non-human-linguistic) representational activities, it becomes clearer that the world is socially constructed -- or perhaps "relationally constructed" might be a better term -- by human as well as nonhuman actors or "actants" (as Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour suggest) linked within heterogeneous networks of activity.8
The question of who is and who is not an agent has been taken up by Latour, Michel Callon, and their colleagues in what has come to be known as "actor-network theory".9 Actor-network theory or "ANT" is a non-anthropocentric, constructivist research program which has emerged out of sociological and anthropological studies of science and the construction of scientific knowledge. Callon and Latour explicitly attempt to deconstruct the "nature-culture boundary"; they write,
since [. . .] we wish to attack scientists' hegemony on the definition of nature, we have never wished to accept the essential source of their power: that is the very distribution between what is natural and what is social and the fixed allocation of ontological status that goes with it. (Callon and Latour 1992: 348)
"Natures" and "societies", in their view, "are secreted as by-products of this circulation of quasi-objects" [:349]. Latour writes that "the very notion of culture is an artifact created by bracketing Nature off. Cultures -- different or universal -- do not exist, any more than Nature does. There are only natures-cultures" [1993: 104; italics his]. ANT thus aims to go beyond the "tug-of-war" between "realists," who "[explain] the social from the natural," and "constructivists," who "[explain] the natural from the social" [:346] -- i.e., that "either the scallops are out there and force themselves on naive realists, or they are in there made of social relations of humans talking about them" [:353; italics added].
ANT attempts to describe the causal links and interactions, or rather the distribution of causality and agency, within heterogeneously interlinked "networks" of activity. Callon and Latour recognize "nonhumans" to be "party to all our disputes," but "instead of being those closed, frozen, and estranged things-in-themselves whose part has been either exaggerated or downplayed," once all a priori distinctions between the natural and the social are abandoned, they become "actants -- open or closed, active or passive, wild or domesticated, far away or near, depending on the result of the interactions" [:355]. The distribution of "actantial roles" and "competences" between humans and nonhumans in this way remains open, and is something that is negotiated in real-life situations.
An example of an actor-network account of a real-life situation is Callon's (1986) description of a scientific and economic controversy involving scallop larvae, fishermen, and scientific researchers in St. Brieuc Bay. Callon articulates the ways the different actors make apparent efforts to define the relations between each other, to "enrol" others in these attempts, to "mobilize allies," and to submit to or refuse others' attempts to define their respective roles. Among the "actants" within this scenario are the scallop larvae, which "refuse" to anchor themselves consistently on submerged towline collectors, thereby resisting the efforts of three researchers to enrol and mobilize them for their purposes. In this way, the scallop larvae are recognized as party to the negotiations over a locally co-constructed reality.
Refusing to make an ultimate distinction between objective nature, society, and text, then, Latour writes that the "seamless fabric" of "nature-culture" is made up of "networks" which are "simultaneously real, like nature, narrated, like discourse, and collective, like society" (Latour 1993: 6). "Natures-cultures," in other words, are co-constructed by the "real," material and spatial practices of humans and nonhumans, as well as by the social, textual, narrative, and imaginal practices of these same relational actor-actant-agents. Nature, in this version, thus becomes what Donna Haraway (1992) calls a "co-constituted social nature," a "coding trickster," whose codes, however, can never be fully decoded by some outside, objective observer. This is because every observer is at the same time an actor and participant locally engaged within such "nature-cultures."
This, however, does not mean that all "nature-cultures" are alike. Latour writes:
All natures-cultures are similar in that they simultaneously construct humans, divinities and nonhumans. None of them inhabits a world of signs or symbols arbitrarily imposed on an external Nature known to us [westerners] alone. [. . .] All of them sort out what will bear signs and what will not. ... In constituting their collectives, some mobilize ancestors, lions, fixed stars, and the coagulated blood of sacrifice; in constructing ours, we mobilize genetics, zoology, cosmology and hæmatology. (Latour 1993: 106)
The difference between modern Western constructions of the world and others, however, for Latour, is not some "qualitative or epistemological leap that separates Modernity from all that has gone before it (and since). Rather, the difference lies in the scope and scale of the 'mobilization'."
What all this suggests is that the social construction of the world is not only performed by humans, but, rather, it occurs within heterogeneously interlinked, relational webs involving both human and nonhuman subject-objects. It occurs through bodily and material actions, strategies (whether consciously chosen or genetically derived) of mobilization, appropriation and resistance, through narratives and discourses, representations and interactions. We all carve out our identities, relations, and "worlds," within interactive and dynamic fields over time. Once the strict boundary between "nature" and "culture" is let go and the ways differently embodied organisms construct and enact their worlds is recognized, the world becomes a pluralistic, dynamic, negotiated social co-construction shaped by very different participants. And just as some critical postmodernists find their theory to have a liberating ethic, one that values diversity and pluralism, counter-hegemony and radical democracy, so a post-anthropocentric deconstructionism can value biodiversity, diversity of differently embodied experience.
What are the implications of this more fluid sense of agency for human representations of the other-than-human world? The question now becomes, not what is nature, but how are nonhumans represented? Since we still must represent, in language, discourse, and imagination, the broader-than-human webs and worlds of which we are a part -- we must, in other words, construct our worlds, even if humans do not construct them alone -- we have a choice as to how to do this. For instance, are the nonhuman others of our worlds passive objects in a mechanistic or cybernetic system? Do they make up a system which we stand outside, a system of biogeochemical cycles, say? Or are they dialogically interrelated with us in a reality in which we are always participants? Are they animals, animated and alive, subjective and intersubjective as well as objectified, like us, in representations and constructions of the world? Do they behave according to laws of nature (whether these be evolutionary drives or genetic programmes)? Are they spirits or gods? Do they make up a nature that is female? Mother? Deity? Text? Machine? Information? What do each of these representations enable or disable? Whom do they privilege, and what do they imply about possible actions, appropriate actions, ethical actions?
If agency is recognized to be fluid and elusive, not fixed but circulating, then a spectrum of positions could be identified between extreme forms of anthropic constructivism and ecological objectivism. The nonhuman agency at work (or at play) within an old-growth forest can hardly be fully captured in graphs of ecological succession or in computer mappings and probability curves. Yet it is a composite form of agency that resists human incursions; it plays a part in the social and relational "co-construction" of the world, an interactive co-constitution which occurs in and through text, discourse, imagination, spatial and technical practices, and much more.
4. Seeking critical common grounds
The ontological project of mediating between a human-centered social constructionism and an ecological realism requires the participation of social and natural scientists, "humanists" and deep ecologists. It is a project, however, that takes place within a broader social context and responds to a deep crisis in social and ecological relations. This larger world is one of large-scale environmental deterioration and ecological change; gross social inequities; and a political economy in which flexible and underaccountable transnational capital has become the dominant form of power. Within this shared world, both radical ecology and critical postmodern cultural theory emerged as critiques of the status quo. The former has focused on ecological, interspecies forms of oppression, the latter on intra-human forms. Both radical ecologists and postmodernists have critiqued aspects of modern scientific theory and practice (though Sessions and Soule, in their defensive scramble for authoritative support for their positions, seemingly deny this). Both appeal to certain values they take to be real and important: in one case, that of preserving what remains of natural ecosystems, in the other, that of struggling for social justice.
Recognizing this shared critical stance carries implications for both deep ecologists and for postmodern constructivists. I have tried to show that deep ecologists do not necessarily need to circle their wagons in the face of a radical relativist onslaught of deconstructionists and postmodernists; nor do they need to appeal to modernist assumptions about scientific objectivity, especially since some of the staunchest defenders of that objectivity probably won't reciprocate by giving the deep ecologists any credence. Either of these tactics would likely lead to the loss of potential allies. For radical ecology theorists, a more fruitful path would be to participate in the reconstruction of a more humble, post-anthropocentric account of the social construction of the world -- a "social" construction with many different kinds of participants, human and otherwise.
For postmodern constructivists, I have tried to suggest that "social constructionism" has, in many of its forms, as yet not lived up to its "postmodern" billing; in many ways, it has perpetuated modernist assumptions about culture and nature, humans and the nonhuman. To get beyond these, it would need to give greater credence to those ways of constructing the world that lie outside of language and human discourse, ways which involve different kinds of embodiment, perception, desire, and communication (in its broadest sense of the word). The choice for postmodern constructivists is between an entrenched academicism, and a commitment to keep our thinking radical by working througth the challenge of ecological realism.
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