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Contributors: Sanders, Christoph Maria (Universität Tübingen)

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Christoph Maria Sanders ist freier Mitarbeiter des Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie & Dozent des Studium Oecologicum (Univ. Tübingen). Er arbeitet zu mentalen Infrastrukturen, sozialer Beschleunigung, gesellschaftl. Naturverhältnissen & sozialen Bewegungen.

Scientific paper contribution: The Nature-Culture-Dualism in Western Societies and its Relevance for Mental Infrastructures - A critical glance from Buen Vivir and Theravāda-Buddhism
Abstract: Research on social-ecological transformations seldom respects the importance of cultural conditions for infinite growth. Thus, it is often ignored that relations with nature are of particular relevance for human behavior, since they provide basic coordinates for our lives. Against this background, the first part of this article identifies the modern nature-culture-dualism, which is a specific way of perceiving the world, as crucial for Western mental infrastructures (a persons unconsciously internalized psychological, social and cultural settings). It is found that the nature-culture-dualism hinders a transformation towards a degrowth-society, since it is conducive to the exploitation of nature, the development of ethnocentrism and the dominance of production as the preeminent form of relating to the world. In a second part, Buen Vivir and Theravāda-Buddhism are analyzed as two examples that are not characterized by the dualism. It is found that their non-dualistic relations with nature can shape mental infrastructures, which allow a less exploitative behavior towards (non-)humans. The article is understood as a contribution to attempts of stressing the neglected relevance of power relations within the degrowth debate.