The scientific and cultural laicization of the forest-human relationship: the Italian Theory

Orazio Ciancio


The Author analyzes a theory developed in forestry in Italy in the nineteen eighties: the Italian Theory. This theory is based on the culture of complexity, on the systemic approach and on a new scientific paradigm based on the principles of self-organization, non equilibrium and non-linearity. It advocates autonomy of silviculture from the discipline originated in Germany in the XVIII century.

The philosophical, scientific and cultural aspects of the relationships between theory and practice, and the deductive and inductive approach in scientific research are examined. Biocentrism and anthropocentrism and the theoretical implications of evolutionary biology are discussed together with the meaning of Art of scientific research. Finally, the Author describes the founding principles of the Italian Theory, i.e. silvosistemica and the need for acknowledging and respecting the rights of the forest.


complexity; silvosistemica; sustainable forest management; rights of the forest

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