Coming Home to the Pleistocene - by Paul Shepard[Reading report] by Ségolène Guinard


The author is part of the "Alternative Management" third year specialization program in HEC Paris. She also holds a Master in contemporary philosophy from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, with a Master thesis upon animal thought in Derrida's work. She runs philosophy workshops and would like to continue her training in research with a PhD.

Paul Shepard is one of the most famous ecologist living philosophers. In this book, he describes a sickness of civilization that consists in forgetting the cultural principles according to which homo sapiens has emerged, thanks to lifestyle choices in the social, economical, artistic and religious areas. Shepard's hypothesis relies on genetics. As members of a living specie, humans possess a genome whose adequate expression underdetermines the suitability of cultural innovations. From a genetic point of view, we inherit from the Pleistocene's chasers-gatherers ; it would be fair then to assume that their corresponding attitudes, their link to life, and their vision of the world are also part of that heritage. According to that hypothesis, the essential is to find the cultural forms that determine the degree of happiness and their societies. Since our liberty remains in the choice we make of our cultural forms, Coming home to the Pleistocene offer us an alternative to our lifestyles

Quote article  Ségolène Guinard, « Coming Home to the Pleistocene - by Paul Shepard », 27 february 2014, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Reading report]

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