Ecophilosophy in Modern East Asia: The Case of Hansalim in South Korea

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This article is devoted to examining the relevance of ecophilosophy for sustainable development, especially in the modern East Asian context. Framed as a response to environmental historian Mark Elvin's claim that allegedly eco-friendly philosophical and spiritual traditions like Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, had no effect in preventing environmental degradation in the long history of preindustrial China. Also that given this historical precedent, ecophilosophy or any type of ideology as such is likely to have no relevance in the efforts toward sustainable development now under way worldwide, the article argues the necessity of examining Asian countries that are farther along in industrialization than China, and which have witnessed the emergence of powerful ecophilosophy-based movements as a reaction to industrialization and its unfortunate side-effects. In particular, the article focuses on the remarkable case of the Hansalim movement in South Korea, which has represented arguably the most comprehensive attempt yet at formulating an ecophilosophy based on the East Asian traditions which is relevant and practical for today's world. While Hansalim's achievements as the operator of the world's largest community -based organic food cooperative have recently begun to gain recognition abroad, this article focuses on the ecophilosophy underlying the movement for which food has been but a symbol and analyzes it to be rich in implications, especially concerning the social pillar of sustainable development, localism, and the role of ecophilosophy.
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PROBLEMY EKOROZWOJU, v.11, no.1, pp.15 - 22

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HSS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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