Terry Fowler

Heidegger in Hamilton

The idea of living sustainably has been around as long as human language has been there to express it.  Unfortunately, having the idea is a far cry from putting it into practice.  For thousands of years, humans have been far … Continue reading

The Making of Toronto

Is It Accidental or Merely Wild? There are no accidents.  Don’t confuse me with the facts; nothing can sway me from this belief. Things happen when we don’t mean them to happen, and we often call such occurrences accidents.  Or, … Continue reading

Pavement Mentalities

I am a child of the city. Not only have I lived in large cities all my life; I have made them a central focus of my teaching and writing

Cities are fascinating. At their best, they are celebrations of human diversity, ingenuity, and creativity. We can learn much about ourselves by exploring our own built environments and our behaviour in them. Continue reading

Food and the Realities of Choice

We consume food many times throughout each day, even those of us on the verge of starvation. Therefore, our decisions about what to eat, however meagre the meal, have a huge economic and social impact. Normally, most of us aren’t too conscious of our choices, which makes them no choice at all. Michael Pollan invites us to be aware of those choices, and with his skillful coaching the potential impact of such awareness could be both subversive and enormous. Continue reading

Wisdom From Beyond the Meadow

“Those who are agriculturalists, humans who live by remodeling the land, are the peoples whose story is some version of Genesis. We live outside any one garden that can meet our needs and growing population, so we must roam the earth looking to create or re-create some place that will provide a more or less adequate source of food and security. We are doomed to defend this place against enemies of all kinds: we know that just as we have conquered, others can displace us. This mixture of agriculture and warfare is a system within which farms and town and nation-states and colonial expansion have an inner and shared coherence. The world view and daily preoccupations of the peasant farmer and the twenty-first century executive have much in common.”
Hugh Brody, The Other Side of Eden, page 89.

If Hugh Brody is lumping so many people together, who is left? The hunter-gatherers, he argues. Today’s hunter-gatherers, in fact, are not relics of the Stone Age, but contemporaries who have evolved along with the agriculturalists (assuming we have!)
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