The ocean: Excursion and return


The ocean with its coastal seas is under increasing anthropogenic pressure, severely threatening ocean health and marine life. Human dependency on and management of the ocean are disconnected, which is in part why the United Nations (UN) is launching the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021–2030 (“Ocean Decade”). Here we investigate how philosophy and literature can inspire us to change the relationship between humans and the ocean. The starting point is natural science and human exploration of the sea. Then we consider philosophy, starting from Aristotle’s forms of knowledge – episteme, techne, and phronesis – focusing particularly on phronesis, or practical wisdom. Referring to Homer’s Odyssey, we investigate the threats that the ocean may face during the UN’s Ocean Decade. From this, we identify several things that will make for a successful Ocean Decade: practical wise leadership, clear vision, societal involvement, information sharing, admitting the vulnerability of both the ocean and humans, and storytelling.


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Come citare
Omstedt, A., & Gustavsson, B. (2022). The ocean: Excursion and return. Filosofia, (67), 25-40.