It is necessary to explore a new narrative for what life is, for what it is to be alive, for what living systems do, and what their goals are. We need to explore how values are created by the realisation of the living, and how we, as living beings in a living biosphere, can adapt the production needed for our livelihoods to that reality, the only reality we have. Even though this narrative will encompass different areas and disciplines, life is the binding dimension for all of them. As a living being, the human organism integrates and connects diverse fields of existential experience, metabolic exchange and social relationships.
The narrative that I propose is by no means an objectivist account, however – a mechanics or a cybernetics of reality. It will be objective in the sense that poetics is objective: transmitting shared feelings by working in the open dimension of contin- uous imagination, which is the $eld of life itself. "e narrative of the living that I wish to unfold here will thus strive for «poetic objectivity» or «poetic precision.» "is is the most appropriate way to describe the living world with its endless unfolding of existential relationships and meanings.
Nature, in the enlivening perspective, is not a causal-mechanical object but a relational network between subjects who have individual interests to stay alive, grow and unfold. Enlivenment means to push biological thinking beyond the objectivist paradigm in which it is now imprisoned, and to emulate the shift that physics made 100 years ago when it moved beyond Newtonian thinking. To end the Newtonian approach to the biosphere, other organisms, ourselves as embodied beings and the whole of ecological and economical exchange processes, will mean to acknowledge that we, as human observers, are as alive and expressive as the other organisms and ecosystems that we are observing. Such a biology is emphatically non-reductionist. Itsmain goal is to understand how freedom can arise and yet be anchored in a material, living world.
for a deeper exploration see:
Weber, Andreas: Enlivenment. Towards a fundamental shift in the concepts of nature, culture and politics. Texts on Ecology, Volume 31. Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 2013, p. 21ff.
Weber, Andreas: Biopoetics. Towards a Theory of Life-as-Meaning. New York: Springer, forthcoming.