Leibniz and the Environment

Leibniz and the Environment

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The work of seventeenth-century polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz has proved inspirational to philosophers and scientists alike. In this thought-provoking book, Pauline Phemister explores the ecological potential of Leibniz's dynamic, pluralist, panpsychist, metaphysical system. She argues that Leibniz's philosophy has a renewed relevance in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to the environmental change and crises that threaten human and non-human life on earth. Drawing on Leibniz's theory of soul-like, interconnected metaphysical entities he termed 'monads', Phemister explains how an individual's true good is inextricably linked to the good of all. Phemister also finds in Leibniz's works the rudiments of a theory of empathy and strategies for strengthening human feelings of compassion towards all living things. Leibniz and the Environment is essential reading for historians of philosophy and environmental philosophers, and will also be of interest to anyone seeking a metaphysical perspective from which to pursue environmental action and policy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 17.78mm | 408g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Abridged
  • 1138924911
  • 9781138924918
  • 1,228,398

About Pauline Phemister

Pauline Phemister is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She is author of Leibniz and the Natural World and The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Among her other books is a co-edited interdisciplinary volume Human-Environment Relations: Transformative Values in Theory and Practice.show more

Review quote

'At the time of the ecological crisis, this book by Pauline Phemister actualizes in a relevant and lively way one of the most original thoughts of our philosophical tradition.' Thibault De Meyer, Universite libre de Bruxelles 'This richly productive engagement with "environmental philosophy" as such, so to speak, attests to its much earlier presence in western thought than many ecological thinkers have noted.' 'Especially impressive [...] are Phemister's inquiries into fundamental questions of human ontology, which run like a thread throughout the text.' 'Compelling in this book for this reader is Phemister's way of bringing Leibnizian analyses into conversation with such innovative and challenging twenty-first-century thinkers as Jane Bennett, Gilles Deleuze, and Bruno Latour.' Lorraine Code, Environmental Philosophy, 14:1, pp. 139-142 `This book offers a new reading of themes associated with the philosophy of Leibniz'. Francoise Duchesneau, `BULLETIN LEIBNIZIEN III', Archives de Philosophie, cahier 2017/3, tome 80, Automne, pp. 614-616.show more

Table of contents

Introduction 1. Ecological Philosophy: Descartes and Spinoza 2. Outline of Leibniz's Philosophy 3. Leibniz's Legacy 4. Organic and Inorganic Nature 5. Relationality and Value 6. Space, Place, and Value 7. Expressive Communication and Empathy 8. Past, Present, Future. Indexshow more