Synopses & Reviews
As we survey the effects of modernism—environmental destruction, the net consumption of irreplaceable natural resources, the ever-widening gulf between first and third worlds—we are forced to grapple with the consequences of the domination of nature by human beings. The readings gathered here join these issues with critical theory to examine the ongoing struggle to rediscover the nature within human beings and to reconnect it with external nature.
Starting with an examination of the use of modernist thought as legitimation for the domination of nature, the collection progresses on a broad front: It examines how first-world economies create third-world dependency; the connections between poverty and population; how basic needs could be fulfilled in a green sustainable economy; the debate among deep, social, and socialist ecologists over the new ecological worldview; ecofeminism and the liberation of both women and nature; environmental justice for minorities and third-world peoples; the need for new spiritual relations between people and nature; and a new postmodern science that offers people a partnership with nature. The conclusion presents the "Principles of Environmental Justice," adopted by the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.
Each essay stands on its own as a contribution to the ecological debate, but the cumulative effect is clearly to ask how critical theorists, current environmental philosophers, and scientists propose to liberate both human beings and nature.
The readings gathered here examine how critical theorists, current environmental philosophers, and scientists propose to liberate both human beings and nature.
About the Author
Carolyn Merchant is professor of Environmental history, philosophy, and ethics in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution; Ecological Revolutions: Nature, Gender, and Science in New England; and Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. She is also the editor of Major Problems in American Environmental History.