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The Relationship Between Man and His Environment: A Systemic Approach of the Viability of “System Earth”

Chapter

Abstract

Our main objective is to elicit (The act of helping experts in constructing their knowledge to allow them to saved/shared) the notions of coviability, viability and perenniality, as they address man’s relationship with his environment. The analysis focuses on the Society-Environment relationship, and is based on a systemic approach. This leads us to consider “System Earth” as a whole when the following crucial question is asked: how can we ensure the perenniality of this relationship while also respecting equity for and between peoples? As is the case for knowledge representation and reasoning, we use the notion of “angle” (semantic relativism) in order to better perceive and describe the main concepts and relationships that reside in this complex system. By adopting an angle on a system, a compartment is extracted, which is easier to analyze. It is through this compartmentalization that we base the reasoning about the perenniality of the Society-Environment relationship and the viability of “System Earth.” We demonstrate that the term coviability used to relate the Society-Environment relationship, and deriving from a vision of Man vs Nature, is neither a systemic (nor holistic) vision. Other than at the global level, we believe that it is a mistake to take this term as a marker for decision-making and action. The compartmentalization protocol and its accompanying tools are commented upon and illustrated in two cases: the “Ecosystemic Service” angle and the “Territorial” angle. In the course of our study, we put forward a coherent set of concepts and relationships by adopting a systemic approach, which enriches our understanding of “System Earth” and of its viability. We also adopt an approach by compartmentalization that focuses on the “Organizational Function” that Society endows itself with, including that of managing the Society-Environment relationship.

Keywords

Systemic approach Compartmentalization Territorial angle Ecosystemic service Coviability 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRD - French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, UMR ESPACE-DEVMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Université Montpellier, UMR ESPACE-DEVMontpellierFrance

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