Intelligibility of science with ecocentrism and khalifah


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Intelligibility of science with ecocentrism and khalifah

  1. 1. The Intelligibility of Science: Concepts of Ecocentrism and Khalifah in Islam as part of Sustainable Model SFGS 6332 Philosophy of Sustainability Lecturer: Dr. Mohd Zuhdi Marsuki Mohd Fadhli Rahmat Fakri SMB110010 Department of Science & Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya 1
  2. 2. Outlineof PresentationScene-Setting: The Intelligibility of Nature Science as Natural Philosophy Science as Instrumentality Unsustainability Issues at HandKey Definitions: Science Sustainability or Sustainable Development Ecocentrism Khalifah / KhilafahThe Role of Religion (Islam) as Balancing Factors for Science tobe Sustainable Ecocentrism in Islam The Concept of Khalifah Science and Nature from the Eye of IslamWay Forward and Conclusion 2References
  3. 3. The Intelligibility of NatureBIOGRAPHY OF PETER DEAR Peter Dear is professor of science and technology studies and history at Cornell University. He is the author of Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500–1700 and Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press. Reference: 3
  4. 4. THE TWO FACES OF SCIENCE1 1. Science and Scientists 2. Science as Natural Philosophy 3. Characteristics of Scientist 4. Science as Instrumentality 5. Reality of Modern Sciences 4
  5. 5. 1 Two Faces of ScienceDear’s portrayed science with 2 different faces asfollows: as Natural Philosophy as InstrumentalityIts concern with explaining and understanding the naturalworld (science as natural philosophy), and it claims topractical efficacy (science as engineering or manipulation/ instrumentality) 5
  6. 6. Discussion on1 Science & ScientistsWhen dealing with natural world, most people wouldmost likely to refer to scientists, such as:Astronomer / astrophysicist – starsGeneticist – biological inheritance Images taken from:Geologist / Geophysicist – History of the earth 6
  7. 7. Discussion on1 Science & ScientistsScience – very prominent label that we applyto those body of knowledge reckoned to bemost solidly grounded in evidence, criticalexperimentation & observation, and rigorousreasoning.Scientists - recognizable as a group by theirtendency, in such circumstances, to sticktogether.From them, we receive an account of howthings work / are in the natural around us –an account of what kind of universe it is thatwe are a part of. 7
  8. 8. Science as Natural Philosophy 1 -chronologically : regarding terms- Early 19th century, Natural Philosophy = standard way of referring to an intellectual endeavor aimed at understanding nature. End of 19th century, natural philosophy absorbed into “science” (today’s term), on which the 1st term largely fell into disuse. Natural Philosophy : Dear’s states that Natural Philosophy is worth reviving due to its focuses aspects of science concerned with explaining and understanding the world – scientific worldview. 8Image taken from:
  9. 9. 1 Characteristic of ScientistsFonts of wisdom about the world“priests of nature”, typically inhabiting universitiesSome work for business corporations / military concernsDo practical things that others wantPopular image of a scientist: in a white-coat, invent somethingPrestigious label of science due to its frequent association with technological achievement. 9 Images taken from:
  10. 10. 1 Science as InstrumentalityBesides science as Natural Philosophy, science are said to be: Operational Instrumental Set of techniques used to do things in simpler words, science = engineering, regardless of its variety: mechanical, genetic, computational/other practical intervention 10
  11. 11. Instrumentality and 1 the history of scienceLesson learned from history Why a particular view of the nature would be preferred over any other?  Scientific theories is believe to be true because of their workability, philosophers of science often regards the practical success of a theory as something to be explained by the truth of it theory  Effective usefulness of a theory is used as evidence for the natural philosophy, the application of a theory assumes the underlying explanation of it 11
  12. 12. 1 The notion of instrumentality  The usefulness of a theory is another science component, distinguishable from its natural philosophy  The instrumentality of science often used to explain the natural philosophical claims and vice versa the natural philosophical arguments use instrumentality success to explain it. i.e.: the workability of electron microscopes  To believe instrumentality is effective is to believe the natural philosophy truth 12
  13. 13. 1 The notion of instrumentalityCultural impact of instrumentality The view that instrumentality is only the application of natural philosophy have made huge cultural impact on modern society: [icon of science – TV, nuclear]  People perceive science as the powerful force to create and change things, and not seeing science as the truth of the natural world.  If it was perceived as truth, the acceptance of instrumentality efficacy would be used to justify truthfulness. 13
  14. 14. 1 Natural Philosophy -> Natural Science In brief, Mohd Hazim Shah Abdul Murad (2011) underlines the following chronology to retrace certain steps in the historical evolution of science: i. the initial separation between natural philosophy, mathematics, and the exact sciences ii. the merger between natural philosophy and mathematics, and the question of the nature of causation iii. the rise of the experimental method and the practical application of scientific concepts and models to nature 14
  15. 15. Natural Philosophy -> Natural 1 ScienceMohd Hazim Shah Abdul Murad (2011) also explainedthat natural philosophy could only beaccepted or understood as a ‘science’ because itoffered a causal understanding of nature.• Galileo exemplified a trend towards the mathematicization of natural philosophy with his study of falling bodies seeking to find the mathematical relationship which govern their behavior. 15
  16. 16. Natural Philosophy -> Natural 1 Science Mohd Hazim Shah Abdul Murad (2011) concluded two groups that views science from different dimension:Realist Antirealist• seeks to reassert the • wishes to deflect what they traditional role of science as see as a scientistic intrusion natural philosophy, as into one’s world-view in a episteme which gives us world where the humanistic true knowledge about the and religious sphere has world, hence privileging shrunk in relation to the science’s epistemological pervasive influence of role in modern culture science. 16
  17. 17. 1 Scientific Realism vs Anti-realismScientific Realism Antirealism• at the most general level, • applies chiefly to claims the view that the world about the non-reality of described by science "unobservable" entities (perhaps ideal science) is such as electrons or DNA, the real world, as it is, which are not detectable independent of what we with human senses. might take it to be • One prominent position in• often framed as an answer the philosophy of science is to the question "how is the instrumentalism success of science to be explained?" 17
  18. 18. 2 Key DefinitionsA. SCIENCE from Latin; scientia meaning "knowledge“ systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained body of reliable knowledge itself (Aristotle) the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (Oxford Dictionary) 18
  19. 19. 2 Key DefinitionsB. SUSTAINABILITY / SUSTAINABLEDEVELOPMENT Latin word: sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up) which generally means to maintain, hold-up and endure Based upon Brundtland Report (2007), SD is illustrated as follows: “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key components: (i) the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and (ii) the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organizations on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs…” 19
  20. 20. 2 Key Definitions SUSTAINABILITY or SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTDiagram A: 3 pillars of sustainability Diagram B: Eulur Diagram ofsuggesting that both economy sustainable development at theand society are constrained by environmental confluence of three constituentlimits 20 parts
  21. 21. 2 Key Definitions SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Stephen R. Dovers (2009) further explains the concept of sustainable development from policies and institutionalization perspectives by providing lists of six sustainability principles as follows: 1) Factoring in both short and long term considerations; 2) Integrating environmental, social and economic concerns in policy making; 3) Taking precautionary measures in the face of possible serious environmental degradation; 4) Considering global implications of domestic policy directions; 5) Utilising innovative, new policy approaches, such as participation, institutional change and market mechanisms; and 6) Involving communities in decisions and actions that affect them. 21
  22. 22. 2 Key DefinitionsSUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE Hiroshi Komiyama’s article (2006) highlighted several important characteristics of sustainability science: integrated, holistic, multidisciplinary, qualitative, subjective and post-modern science. a field defined by problems it addresses that bringing together scholarships glocally and practices from both north-and-south across multidisciplinary. approach problems of sustainability at 3level systems namely; global (natural science as its central point), social (social science) and human (cultural, moral, religion, philosophy, and etc.). 22
  23. 23. 2 Key Definitions SUSTAINABILITY 23
  24. 24. 2 Key DefinitionsC. ECOCENTRISM from the word ecocentric which teleogically (consequences) based upon the principle of deep ecology with a popular motto: “simple in means, rich in ends”, deontologically (duty) preferred the ecofeminism ways, and ontologically (virtue) related to concepts of stewardship (khalifah) and sustainability. Ecofeminism – a movement or theory that applies feminist principles (the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes) and ideas to ecological issues 24
  25. 25. 2 Key Definitions C. ECOCENTRISM In comparing center of value in relation to its utility in environmental conservation, unity between humans and nature are described by having human related closely to ecosystem. responsible toward human is held ecosystem as a whole and their activities are guaranteed as much as ecosystem’s stability not to be endangered. In short, this is a worldview that narrows to ecosystem components compared to anthropocentric and biocentric 25
  26. 26. 2 Key DefinitionsD. KHALIFAH / KHILAFAH verbal root khalafa, meaning one who came after, inherited or succeeded another. Khilafah thus implies holding a position of power, trust and responsibility that is exercised in harmony with the will of its principal party. Each one of us, men and women inherit power and responsibility vis-à-vis the 26 planet earth and all its life forms.
  27. 27. 2 Key DefinitionsD. KHALIFAH / KHILAFAH Synonym - stewardship and vicegerency Mohammad Hashim Kamali (2010) expounded characteristics of khalifah as the Qur’anic principle of vicegerency of man on the earth which designates humankind as a trustee and custodian of its natural environment. Moreover, he states that the principle of trust (amanah) in Islam is also closely 27 related to khilafah.
  28. 28. The Role of Religion (Islam)3 as Balancing Factors for Science to be Sustainable an alternative solution in championing unsustainability issues Islam itself derived from the Arabic word named ‘Salam’ which means peace, wholeness, and safeness. In proper basic definition of Islam, it means voluntary submission to God’ ‘ from a religious context on which by the same token can be defined as the religious faith of Muslims includes belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as His Prophet which rejecting polytheism. 28
  29. 29. The Role of Religion (Islam)3 as Balancing Factors for Science to be SustainableKhalid Farooq Akbar (1992) : technological progress is responsible fordisturbing the equilibrium (balance) in nature. He says, “The presentecological crisis is an outward manifestation of a crisisof mind and spirit”. the importance of changingThus, he highlightsour beliefs and traditions so that human liveresponsibly with the rest of the creation of God. In this context, hepresents an Islamic viewpoint by describing the roots of Islamicenvironmental ethics; he mentions the principles of unity, trusteeship,and accountability. 29
  30. 30. The Role of Religion (Islam)3 as Balancing Factors for Science to be Sustainable Furthermore, Islam exemplifies rightful conduct and moral values based on strict compliance with the Shari’ah, the Divine Law. The Qur’an is the source of the Shari’ah. A more practical approach to exemplify these is the regulation of man’s life according to the halal‐haram dichotomy — or what is morally allowed and forbidden, lawful and unlawful. In brief, religion (Islam) is an important ‘tool’ in balancing the nature of science from being manipulated by human kind as an alternative way to ensure its sustainability 30
  31. 31. 4 Ecocentrism in Islamcritical features: the viewpoint of ecologism non-humanconsiders each aspect of theworld to have intrinsic valueregardless of whether or not it is of benefit tohuman beings.In the book, ‘Green Political Thought’ Dobson(1995) states that: ‘A belief in ecocentrism (for example) serves to distinguish ecologism from other political ideologies - this ecocentric politics explicitly seeks to de-centre the human being, to refuse to believe that the world was made for human beings - and even if (the environment) cannot be made a means to human ends it still has value’. 31 Images taken from:
  32. 32. 4 Ecocentrism in Islam Pepper (1996), expounds ecocentrism as concern about non-human nature and the whole ecosystem, rather than humanist concerns the nature of intrinsic worth, in its own right, regardless of its use value to humans. Eckersley (1992), talks of preservation regardless of whether it is of value for human beings, even in terms of whether or not it has aesthetic value to humans. 32 Images taken from:
  33. 33. 4 Ecocentrism in Islamemphasis on equality, that human beings are apart of an interlocking system and arethus no more important than other part of the natural world is independent andtherefore no part can lay claim to superiority. Furtherevidence of Islamic teachings,For instance, The Prophet Muhammad Peace Be UponHim (PBUH) said: “A good deed done to a beast is as good as doing good to a human being; while an act of cruelty to a beast is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being”. (Miskhat al-Masabih) 33 Images taken from:
  34. 34. Reality of Today All points out the relations to Peter Dear standpoint on looking at science as both natural philosophy and science as something that can be engineered or manipulated; intelligibility of nature. But in reality of todays, challenges facing society is to arrive at a consensus of opinions, through a global discussion about what is best not only for humans, but also what is best for the rest of nature as well. universalism modern 34
  35. 35. Underlying Message (1)two cardinal principles of governance as laid down by theQuran are: sovereignty belongs to Allahfirst,Taala and second, the popular vicegerencybelongs to all believers.society must be governed by and in accordance with the will of thepeople.The people (the Ummah) are the actual source of khilafah and those inauthority must have the confidence and support of the Muslimpopulation.In this context , Shari’ah provides abroad framework within which the peopleactively participate in developing a civil society and its institutions. 35 Images taken from:
  36. 36. Underlying Message (2)The concept of Divine unity is thebasis and essence of Islam. Divine unity is apparent in theunity of humanity and of nature.God’s vicegerents on the earth, the holders of His trust, aretherefore primarily responsible for preserving the unity ofcreatures, the integral wholeness of the world, the flora andfauna, and wildlife and natural environment.Thus, Islam underlines three basic concepts that can be ‘unity’,closely connected to sustainability namely‘trust’, and ‘responsibility’. Theseprinciples are at the same time the main pillars of theIslamic environmental ethic. 36 Images taken from:
  37. 37. The Concept of Khilafah 5 in Islam In Islam, for the Muslim, each generation of humankind is morally bound to leave behind a wholesome, sustainable environment for his future generations to come. The concept is one of popular vicegerency, shared by all believers alike. Moreover, the authority is bequeathed not on any chosen person, family, tribe, ethnicity, race or group of people but on all believers, men and women. 37Image taken from:
  38. 38. 5 The Concept of Khilafah in Islam “Allah has promised to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds that He will assuredly make them succeed (those who rule) and grant them vicegerency in the land just as He made those before them succeed others” (Surah An-Nur: 55) 38 Image taken from
  39. 39. 5 “He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth”. (Surah Al-Baqarah: 29)“And waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al‐Musrifun(those who waste by extravagance)”. (Surah Al-An’am: 141)Although, Islamic views humankind as vicegerent of the world, butthey are not allowed to give ground for arrogance, tyranny orsuperiority and wasting the resources entrusted to them by God.Allah said: “And walk not in the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither render nor penetrate the earth, nor you can attain a stature like the mountains in height”. (Surah Al-Isra’: 37) 39
  40. 40. 5 Example from Prophet MuhammadIn one of the popular hadith states the conceptof ‘no injury’. The Prophet said: “Do not create harm so you will not be harmed”The above hadith can be exemplified in the time ofProphet Muhammad, he would forbid his followersthe harming of people that were non‐party to theconflict, the elderly, the children and women (amongthem), as well as places of worship (of otherreligions) and “not cutting the trees”. 40 Image taken from
  41. 41. KHALIFAH5 Characteristics in Islam: Islam has underlines several important characteristics of vicegerent: answerable for his actions, for the way he uses or abuses the trust of God; act as God’s steward, and trustee, of the bounties of the earth, or everything found over and beneath it; Allah gave them a special kind of knowledge, possessed not even by the angels of Allah and made them masters, if not the whole earth, at least of those creatures and substances that are useful for them; Leadership qualities are required; not only technical. In fact, behavioral skills are critical: leaders must be skillful and trustworthy, strong and faithful. All of the above are highlighted by the Word of God in the Holy Qur’an and the hadith. As mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy” (Surah Al-Qasas: 26) 41 Image taken from
  42. 42. Image taken from Science & Nature 6 from the eye of IslamThe idea of ecologism is thus relatively alien to thesociety in which we live.Mainstream strategies in dealing with environmental the label ofproblems would come underenvironmentalism.Environmentalism can be expounds as a managerialapproach to dealing with environmental problems,whereas ecologism requires “radical changes in ourrelationship with the non-human natural world, and in ourmode of social and political life” (Dobson, 1995, p.1).There is thus a need for transformation of our perspectivehow we view, and relate to, the rest of the world ifecologism is to be more than just another theory insociety. 42
  43. 43. Image taken from Science & Nature6 from the eye of Islam Science and nature are equally important in human life, thus the role of religion is to close the gap between these two entities and act as a bridge via its concept of ‘Oneness’. From an Islamic perspective, the oneness of creation is a reflection of the Oneness from which all of creation is said to have originated/created by Allah. Whilst creation consists of numerous diverse parts, both living and non-living, with complex interactions between them, each part is considered to have its place in the wider scheme of things and together a coherent and united whole is formed. This seems related to the viewpoint of the natural world interlocking system of as an independent objects. 43
  44. 44. Image taken from 6 Science & Nature from the eye of Islam decentralizesThere is a verse in the Qur’an thathumankind from creation. For instance: “Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most men understand not”. (Surah Al-Ghafir: 57)human beings as a part of creation, and place importance on thevalue that each aspect of creation has in contributing to the overallpicture.Islam does not view human beings as central to creation, and theworld is not solely for humankind and it seems safe to say that thenon-human world does have intrinsic value.Thus from this perspective too, there is a similarity between 44ecocentrism and Islam.
  45. 45. Image taken from Science & Nature 6 from the eye of IslamThe concept of ‘Oneness’ once again relates tothe way of life of human beings on which only through our‘submission to the will of God’ that each one of us is able tofind our true place in the bigger picture, behaving as it ismeant to accordingly,which means behaving within certain limits, andconsequently fitting in with the rest ofcreation, as though creation, itself, is one; sustainablelifestyle. 45
  46. 46. Image taken from Science & Nature 6 from the eye of Islamhow Islam views the harmful effect of science to our ecosystem could beutilized as an important ‘instrument’ to ‘find our way back’.Thus, whilst human beings can cause environmental problems and disrupt theunity on the planet, the resultant corruption that appears provides anopportunity for humanity to ‘find their way back’, and this would at least finding their way back to their fitrahincludestate, a complete change in our character in the way we think and act.This kind of position also resonates with that of Islam. As mentioned in thefollowing verse in the Qur’an: “Corruption has appeared in the land and sea, because of what the hands of men have earned, that God may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may find their way back”. (Surah Ar-Room: 41) 46
  47. 47. 7 Way Forward & Conclusion S U1) Over passes of millennia, science itself which were S initially known as natural philosophy has been T transformed into another ‘body’ of A I discipline better known as engineering due to its N association with rapid advancement of technology. A B I2) Consequently, unsustainability issues L rises from the latter scenario on which science can be I engineered in order to manipulate and utilize nature T the way we want it; egocentric. Unsustainability issues Y encompassing multi aspects of life from the economic, down to the way of our social life and ultimately ‘corrupting’ our environmental component. 47 Image taken from
  48. 48. 7 Way Forward & ConclusionAs a way forward, proper model ofsustainable development that promote sustainablelifestyle and mindset of its civil society should be seeks foras one of the solution in managing and mitigatingunsustainability issues around us. the component ofTherefore,religion which fell under the social component ofSD called cultural and belief systems should be considered.Islam, among one of the largest religion in the world istaken as a model in our quest to solve unsustainabilityissues due to negative consequences of human actionthrough science. 48 Image taken from
  49. 49. 7 Way Forward & ConclusionIn Islamic teachings, we have discussed two important principles that areclosely related to one another namely ecocentrism andkhilafahBoth views unsustainability issues at hand as an ‘opportunity’ to‘find our way back’ by reflecting our actions towards nature andultimately changing our mindset and way of living more sustainably.In short, science needs both views as natural philosophy and engineering-based but the real unsustainability issues that human civilization has to faceand take greater concern about are our mindset andlifestyle.One of the closest solutions that we can tap-into-and-have endless access to is basic way of life based upon ourby getting back toreligious practices. 49 Image taken from
  50. 50. “Theres only one corner of the universe youcan be certain of improving, and thats yourown self. So you have to begin there, notoutside, not on other people. That comesafterward, when youve worked on your owncorner.” by Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop Reference: 50
  51. 51. ReferencesOnline sources: 1) "Science". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2012 2) “Hadith” – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, retrieved on November 25, 2012 3) “Islam” - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, retrieved on December 1st, 2012 4) “Our Common Future” (2007) United Nations, Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from Brundtland_Report_1987.pdf 5) “Science”. Oxford Online Dictionaries, Oxford University Press, Inc. Retrieved November 25, 2012 from 51 Design and Layout by Fazly Rahmat
  52. 52. ReferencesArticles and Books: 1) Adams, W.M. (2006) "The Future of Sustainability: Re-thinking Environment and Development in the Twenty-first Century." Report of the IUCN Renowned Thinkers Meeting, 29–31 January 2006. Retrieved on: November 17, 2012 2) Akbar, Khalid Farooq (1992), “Environmental Crisis and Religion: The Islamic Viewpoint”, Islamic Thought and Scientific Creativity, Islamabad: 3:1 3) Am-Euras. J. (2008) Environmental Ethics: Toward an Islamic Perspective. Agric. & Environ. Sci., 3 (4): 609-617 4) Dobson, A. (1995) ‘Green political thought’: London: Routledge 5) Dovers, S. R. (2009) From Implementing Sustainable Development: Long Term Policy and Institutional Challenges. Paper presented at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi 6) Eckersley, R. (1992) ‘Environmentalism and political theory: Towards an ecocentric approach’: London: UCL 7) Godin, B. (2007) What is Science? Defining Science by the Numbers, 1920-200, Project on History and Sociology of S&T Satistics Working Paper No. 35, Quebec: Canada. 8) Heilbron, J. L. (2003, editor-in-chief) The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science New York: Oxford University Press 9) Hiroshi Komiyama & Kazuhiko Takeuchi (2006) Sustainability Science: Building a New Discipline,Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science and Springer-Verlag. 1: 1-6 52 Design and Layout by Fazly Rahmat
  53. 53. ReferencesArticles and Books: 11) Mohammad Hashim Kamali (2010) Environmental Care in Islam: A Qur’anic Perspective. Paper presented at the International Conference on “Environment in Islam,” organised by the Aal al-Bayt Foundation for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan, 27-29 September 2010 12) Mohd Hazim Shah Abdul Murad (2011) Models, scientific realism, the intelligibility of nature, and their cultural significance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42. p253–261 13) Onions, Charles, T. (ed) (1964). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p.2095 14) Pepper, D. (1996) ‘Modern environmentalism’: London & New York: Routledge 15) Quranic Verses: Surah Al-An’am: 141, Surah Al-Baqarah: 29 Surah Al-Ghafir: 57, Surah Al-Isra’: 37 Surah Al-Qasas: 26, Surah An-Nur: 55 Surah Ar-Room: 41 53 16) Scott Cato, M. (2009) Green Economics. London: Earthscan, pp. 36–37. and Layout by Fazly Rahmat Design