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The Moon in the Nautilus ShellDiscordant Harmonies Reconsidered$
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Daniel Botkin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913916

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199913916.001.0001

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date: 23 September 2021

A View from a Marsh

A View from a Marsh

Myths and Facts About Nature

(p.2) (p.3) 1 A View from a Marsh
The Moon in the Nautilus Shell

Daniel B. Botkin


This chapter considers some myths and facts about nature by focusing on the architecture of Venice amid a changing lagoon. It describes how Venice functions as a city partly because of the natural ecosystems of the lagoon and suggests that our position today in relation to the environment of the entire planet Earth is similar to that of the ancient settlers of Venice in relation to the marshes of the Adriatic Sea. It argues that the perception of our place in nature and what that nature is truly like has not changed, citing in particular the notion that environmentalism opposes technological progress. It also discusses three images of nature—the machine, the creature, and the divine—that dominate our thoughts about the environment and the end of rationalism in the development of ecology. Finally, it suggests that we can look to ancient and modern Venice as models in miniature of what we need to do to solve environmental problems elsewhere.

Keywords:   architecture, Venice, lagoon, marshes, nature, environmentalism, environment, rationalism, ecology, environmental problems

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