Author Archives: dublinsoil

About dublinsoil

Professor of Environmental Science

Civilization and its contents: how the world’s earliest cities manifest Neolithic carnal excesses

Being primarily a note on V Gordon Childe ( (1892 – 1957) and the definition of civilization. “Libraries”, Foucault said, “are the habitat of Man.”  I was in a university library when I read this.  It was the Arts library … Continue reading

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The Social Ladder and the Ecological Ground – Julian Steward and multilinear evolution in the middle 20th C

The urban experience is a relatively new one for us.   The oldest cities emerged from 5000-3500 BC, slowly evolving out of antecedent Neolithic villages and settlements throughout the world, some of which date back as far as 10,000 BC.  George … Continue reading

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Brain, liquefaction of

The following is an excerpt from my unpublished manuscript “A Shorter History of Bodily Fluids” B.  Brain, liquefaction of: also known as encephalomalacia (from the Greek, μαλακία softening), necrencephalus (from Greek, νεκρο + κεϕαλή  deadhead), ramollissement cérébral (from the French … Continue reading

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In Luster Diminished: Writing Kant out of the Philosophy of Science

In the introductory chapter of his helpful Introduction to Phenomenology Robert Sokolowski reports on the genesis of his book project in a lunchtime conversation with a professor of mathematics and philosophy who reported on the following significant difference between mathematicians … Continue reading

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Nothing sucks seeds like succession: how a 17th Century Irish Archbishop invented modern ecology

If one could choose from among the several notable Irish William Kings who might possibly serve as first recorder of a hypothesis on the development of bog vegetation you might choose wrongly.  The three candidates: William King soldier and politician, … Continue reading

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Quaking bogs and other Shaky Ground: some thoughts on the history of phytosociology

In the early 1980s I volunteered to work in Killarney National Park in Ireland on a project to rid the oak woodlands of Rhododendron ponticum, an invasive shrub that was encroaching in the understory of this habitat.  The concern was … Continue reading

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The God of Disruption – an Ecological History of Creation

In the beginning was the disturbance: God disrupted the pristine formlessness of the deep and created the heavens and the earth.  Literally in a flash.  With His utterance, the darkness was relegated to Night; the light He called Day.  Waters … Continue reading

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Kant’s body and other natural disasters

This post is part of a series of occasional posts concerning the body and ecology.  I start somewhat circuitously by examining the body in the work of Kant. Friedrich Nietzsche, in tones braggadocio, prefaced his intellectual autobiography, Ecce Homo: How … Continue reading

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History of the Ecosystem Concept, 76 years old this month

I have been blogging this past week about the ecosystem concept.  The term was introduced by Arthur Tansley 76 years ago this month in a paper entitled “The use and abuse of vegetation concepts and terms” in the journal Ecology. … Continue reading

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