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Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany (Suny Series on Religion and the Environment)


Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany (Suny Series on Religion and the Environment) Cover

ISBN13: 9781438434285
ISBN10: 1438434286
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Book News Annotation:

Viewer's who saw The Couch Trip (1988) will remember Walter Matthau's character, Becker, in his black priestly robes outside the airport holding a sign saying "People for the ethical treatment of plants" and may think he wrote this book. Actually, Hall (Centre for Middle Easter Plants in Edinburgh) broaches the subject with slightly more sanity, but with the same passion, declaring that plants are the life-giving substance that makes it possible for humans to exist. Yet, the pace at which humanity disregards and disrespects nature inspired this philosophical wake-up call to start paying attention to the plants in our lives; for failure to do so may leave us breathless. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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6162416364, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by 6162416364)
Plants as Persons: A philosophical botany by Matthew Hall

What is often fore many "modern" people a green blur, and also an ethical "non-entity" - plants - are examined in light of cultural and philosophical trajectories, unique indigenous concepts, and new scientific reseach. Hall argues persuasively for increase of ethical consideration for plants. Dr. Hall does not use hierarchical arguements, instead he laterally extends respect and rights to plants as members of a common world/ecosystem ��" This traces the development of "philosophical ideas" concerning plants extremely well.
“And though we know, intellectually, that we always have and always will live by grace of the oxygen produced by said plants, and are built from the very carbons of them, and run our entire global economy off the backs of that carbon, we are unable to think let alone live the novel and profound truths of these vegetal relations. This backgrounding of herbality��"indeed of ecology��"is directly linked to the foregrounding of animality"
Chapter 1 ��" Roots of Disregard ��" exclusion and inclusion in Classical Greek Philosophy.
Chapter 2 ��" Dogma of Domination ��" keeping plants at a distance
Chapter 3 ��" Passive Plants in Christian Traditions
Chapter 4 ��" Dealing with Sentience and Violence in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Texts
Chapter 5 ��" Indigenous Animisms, Plant Persons, and Respectful Action
Chapter 6 ��" Pagans, Plants, and Personhood
Chapter 7 ��" Bridging the Gulf ��" Moving Sensing, Intelligent, Plants
Recreating A Place For FLourishing

Albert Sweitzer‘s reverence for life, Peter Singers (Animal Liberation), Paul Taylor (Respect for Nature), and Regan (The Case for Animal Rights) all downplay treatment of plants ethically. Regan, in his arguing for animal rights says “We have no adequate reason to believe that plants have preferences (desires), let alone that they can act to satisfy them” (pg 107 The Case for Animal Rights) and that plants desire water no more than “do car radiators” (see page 38) plants lack autonomy in the Kantian and “preference-autonomy” sense (see page 85). Matthew Hall does a great job of providing the scientific proof, and compelling philosophical and ethical reasonings to develop a ethcial and moral conciousness regarding the world of plants. This book is relevant in an age of genetic engineering, massive extinction, climate change, and ownership of plant varieties; especially as human values incorporate a respect for life.
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Product Details

Hall, Matthew
State University of New York Press
Coward, Harold (EDT)
Publication Date:
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Related Subjects

Humanities » Philosophy » Ethics
Science and Mathematics » Botany » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany (Suny Series on Religion and the Environment) New Trade Paper
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