Dr Balaska Maria

114600 €

Earthlings: a philosophical exploration of fake nature

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Fake nature has become increasingly present: from manmade islands and fake beaches to plans for an artificial moon. At a time when salvaging what is left of earthly nature has become so important, the increase in fake nature projects looks like a baffling paradox. How are we to understand the fact that indoor ski resorts are being built in Dubai, while the Arctic icecap melts at a dangerous rate? Given the increasing presence of synthetic nature and the subsequent blurring of the line between the natural and the artificial, as well as the reality of climate change, ecological destruction, and the worry that life on Earth is becoming unsustainable, this project aims to address the urgent question: what would we lose if we found ourselves surrounded only by copies of nature? Although a growing number of studies show a correlation between being in nature and finding well-being, the precise character and value of 'nature’ is unclear. How can we understand philosophically the link between nature and happiness? And once this link is appropriately understood, is there any reason to think that a well-made copy of nature couldn’t do the same work? This research project will be the first substantive philosophical exploration of the phenomenon of fake nature and our relation to it.