Nature and Culture

As recently as 1800, there was a widespread belief in Europe that nature and culture were clearly distinct parts of the world. Many poets and philosophers revered untouched nature and saw it as something opposite to humans. In the discourse about the Anthropocene, this idea is shaken. There are hardly any genuinely untouched areas on earth, and our local recreation areas are almost entirely (white) human-made cultural landscapes of the past centuries. Even the air we breathe is no longer produced by unspoiled nature but almost exclusively by plants that we have grown or cultivated ourselves. We have long recognized that human activity permeates all areas of life. As the well-known philosopher, Bruno Latour and others already suggest: We can speak of natureculture.