Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics

Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics


By (author) Timothy Morton

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Paperback $22.69
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 239mm x 23mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 31 March 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass
  • ISBN 10: 0674024346
  • ISBN 13: 9780674024342
  • Sales rank: 1,371,700

Product description

In "Ecology without Nature", Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature that most writers on the topic promote: they propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of a far deeper situation - of accepting the idea of "ecology without nature". That is, to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish, once and for all, the idea of nature. Developing a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in both content and form, Morton shows that representations of nature inevitably become metaphysical. Ranging widely in 18th to 20th Century literature, philosophy, culture, and the arts, Morton explores the value of art in imagining environmental conditions for the future. In short, the idea of nature has served much the same function in the modern period as the aesthetic has - that of healing what society has damaged; but as a result, unrealistic expectations have developed. Morton investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging.

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Author information

Timothy Morton is Professor of Literature and Environment, University of California, Davis.

Review quote

"Ecology Without Nature" offers original and important critiques of ecocritical theory, in particular through its analysis of the legacy of Romanticism and the paradox of dualism that pervades much ecological writing. Its occasionally irreverent style and embrace of kitsch make it an enjoyable read, even when the associationist organization and technical terminology require the reader to slow down. However, this slowing down is exactly what Morton recommends for ecocritics as we enter the twenty-first century and the increasingly urgent demands of "this poisoned ground" where Morton calls us to stand. -- Janet Fiskio "Environmental Philosophy" (04/01/2008)