Books By Michael Zimmerman
Michael E. Zimmerman is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts at CU, Boulder. Since his undergraduate years, Zimmerman has been concerned about anthropogenic environmental problems. His research examines the metaphysical, cultural, ethical, cognitive, political, and religious dimensions of such problems. Like many others in the field of environmental studies, Zimmerman maintains that a multi-disciplinary approach is needed both to comprehend and to propose effective solutions for environmental problems. Natural science is crucial for characterizing, making predictions about, and providing alternative scenarios regarding existing and emerging environmental problems. Anthropogenic environmental problems, however, arise from human activities that are usually best studied by researchers from the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Although criticizing the command-and-control attitude toward nature that has characterized modernity, Zimmerman has also warned of the dangers posed by the anti-modernist attitudes that characterize some versions of environmentalism. Zimmerman asks: How to retain what is noble about modernity, including the freedoms connected with politics, research, and religion, while correcting its shortcomings, including serious environmental problems?
In what has been called “post-normal” science, researchers must not only deal with problems characterized by complexity and thus uncertainty, but must also integrate multiple perspectives, many of which operate at different scales, with different assumptions, and in light of different value concerns. Environmental policy formation will become increasingly effective as it develops the conceptual models needed to identify crucial methods and perspectives and to show their relationships to one another, as well as to specific problems. Working with Ken Wilber and Sean-Esbjörn Hargens, Zimmerman is helping to develop and apply one such integrative model to anthropogenic environmental problems. This model will be presented in Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World (2007), co-authored with Hargens.
Selected Publications (PDF)
INTEGRAL ECOLOGY ESSAYS
TECHNOLOGICAL POSTHUMANISM ESSAYS
For more visit: http://www.colorado.edu/artssciences/CHA/profiles/zimmerman.html
My latest podcast explores the idea that *value itself* can be conceived of as a form of interior energy that influences consciousness and culture. Value energy motivates human interest and generates political will. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sQyGo8meJE&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3FenKesBowZedhaCIV5awRkk3CJsTuyJryNev0i492jSQ4dY_2IOwVqOs
Progressivism is the most evolved form of culture that has yet to appear in the timeline of human history. But as it emerges, its pathologies are becoming more evident. Hopefully, these very pathologies can spur us to evolve further—from antithesis to a reconciling synthesis. …
USA Today (2.6 million daily readers) published my op-ed today: *'Mrs. America' Shows How Art Can Bridge Our Nation's Cultural, Partisan Divisions* In the op-ed I argue that Cate Blanchett’s performance demonstrates “cultural intelligence.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/06/06/how-art-like-mrs-america-can-help-heal-our-cultural-divide-column/3153471001/
Has progressive postmodernism emerged as a historically significant new worldview comparable to modernity and traditionalism? Social psychologists and political scientists can’t seem to see it clearly. If social science existed in 1790, would it have detected the Enlightenment?
Post-progressivism can help progressive culture mature and evolve by extending its caring & inclusive values to include the concerns and commitments of modernists and traditionalists. And progressives can thus evolve by using *cultural intelligence* to affirm our interdependence.