Jean-Loup McIlvain-Cellier Written Assignment 11

Jean-Loup McIlvain-Cellier Written Assignment 11
Encounters with Nature section 02 Lòpez
Scott, James C. "Nature and Space." In Seeing Like a State, 11-52, 359-369. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1998.
James Scott's Nature and Space provides a different view of society's take on nature, and
addresses matters regarding how the economic potentials of nature alter and dictate societal uses
of the natural world. He brings up components of this topic such as how trees are categorized not
necessarily by species or environmental impact, but by timber amount and pricing and how the
wild can be completely wiped clean and restructured, in cases such as when people plant
archways of trees for an almost militaristic regimen of uniformity. He addresses issues of
people's animosity regarding nature, and conflicts arising from matters of interpretation which in
turn stem from the wildness of the wild. And of course, the economy of growing space and
ownership of farms is a central point of conflict when people reach a point of disregarding the
natural element and seek only economic gain. Scott uses primarily his analysis of pertinent
quotations alongside a few well-placed diagrams and maps which illustrate matters such as the
space conflict. This text helps express the ways that nature is often disregarded for what it is for
the purposes of economy, and this can create lasting difficulties in a community. I thought that
Scott's writing was well phrased and to-the-point, spending appropriate time setting up and then
reaching his argument without becoming dry.
Scott, James C. "Taming Nature." In Seeing Like a State, 262-306, 414-423. New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1998.
James Scott's “Taming Nature: An Agriculture of Legibility and Simplicity” raises
questions about how different circumstances and situations within nature call for different
approaches, and how nature calls for the patience and simplicity that is often thrown aside in
modern life. He breaks this into components such as the increasingly complex (and oddly enough
progressively simplistic) ways humans have tried to optimize cultivation, as well as the
differences in opinions that arise when multiple opposing methods come into conflict. He goes
into great detail about the differences between European and West African farming techniques
and how the two differ greatly in principle. Scott uses sources such as documents of research
done by previous agriculturalists seeking to record the processes used by differing cultures, and
he synthesizes these reports to bolster his analysis of the questions he raises. This text
emphasizes how humans are constantly evolving culturally and seeking to make their world
better, but it is nigh impossible for any one culture to perfect what they practice and that wisdom
and prudent cooperation can be key. Scott’s balance of the contrasting elements of the different
cultures, the rise and struggles between simplicity and complexity and the pros and cons of each
were all well expressed and varied throughout the piece, keeping ideas fresh.