Anthropocentrism vs. cosmocentrism

I think it’s unavoidable to have an anthropocentric view of the world. If we could have another view of the world, we either wouldn’t be human, or we would’ve made it human.

People who devote themselves to nature tend to anthropomorphise it, and beauty is no objective factor of nature, it is something we see in (or on a more Kantian note: project onto) nature, so it is a part of humanity in that sense.But what is interesting is that we have our views about something that is beyond us, and by understanding that things are beyond us, we make that what we are about.

Since we’re always doing that as humans, our centre is actually always outside ourselves.Heidegger praised it as: “Kein Mensch ist ohne Religion, und jeder Mensch ist über sich selbst hinaus. Das heißt: verrückt” – “No human is without religion, and every human goes beyond themselves. That is to say: displaced.*”

So the anthropocentric approach is actually about desire: seeing things for what they are to us. The cosmocentric approach is about love: seeing things as they are, or letting them be.

This distinction always reminded me of a friend of mine. She described herself as a misanthrope because she hated everything humans did to the world: destroying the ecology, killing off species etc.. But in fact that act of misanthropy, was to me the greatest act of philanthropy.

Because at the core of who we are, at our centre, we are outside ourselves (insane!) we see things for what they are, and the sense of beauty and wonder is the anthropocentric path of becoming a cosmocentric, or better yet a cosmopolitan individual.

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