The Pandemic, Ecological Justice, and Zhu Xi’s Philosophy
Keywords:pandemic, ecological justice, deep ecology, investigation of things, self-realization
COVID-19 has brought many changes to society and encouraged mankind to reflect on its civilization. The pandemic has revealed that our health care systems and community solidarity are far more fragile than we believed. It made us rethink the solidarity of human civilization and community, and more fundamentally, reconsider the global ecosystem beyond human society. This paper claims that COVID-19 was an inevitable result of the anthropocentric perspective, and argues that it is necessary to change the perception to an ecological worldview and practice ecological justice in order to solve this situation. First, it analyses the ecological reasons for the regular outbreak of zoonotic diseases, including COVID-19, and then it examines Naess’s deep ecology with regard to a fundamental change of perception, but also finds several weaknesses in this. Third, this paper focuses on Zhu Xi’s philosophy in order to compensate for the weaknesses of deep ecology. It argues for the importance of human roles and obligations in relation to the safety and health of the environment based on his philosophy, and explains ecological justice by applying his social equality theory to ecology. Finally, it sheds new light on Zhu Xi’s theory of investigation of things (gewu 格物) as a practical way of implementing ecological justice.
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