Synopses & Reviews
This is a much-needed and clearly argued account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment. Written by one of our leading environmental thinkers, it is a compelling exploration of the contemporary ecological crisis, its origins, and the cultural illusions that lie behind it. Val Plumwood argues that historically-traceable distortions of reason and culture have resulted in dangerous forms of ecological denial. They have had a widespread effect in areas as diverse as economics, politics, science, ethics, and spirituality, and appear in the currently dominant form of globalization. Cutting through the "prudence vs. ethics" debate that has stunted environmental philosophy, Plumwood analyzes our ethical and spiritual failures as closely linked to our perceptual and prudential failures to situate ourselves as ecological beings. She argues that in the process, we gain a false idea of our own character and location, including an illusory sense of independence from nature, making us insensitive to ecological limits, dependencies and interconnections. "Environmental Culture" presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change in order to develop an ecologically rational society. Drawing on a range of ideas from feminism, democracy, globalization and post-colonial thought, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the environment and our place in it.
In this much-needed account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment, Val Plumwood digs at the roots of environmental degradation. She argues that we need to see nature as an end itself, rather than an instrument to get what we want. Using a range of examples, Plumwood presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change to accommodate nature.