The Ecological Thought

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2010
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Abstract (in English): 

In this passionate, lucid, and surprising book, Timothy Morton argues that all forms of life are connected in a vast, entangling mesh. This interconnectedness penetrates all dimensions of life. No being, construct, or object can exist independently from the ecological entanglement, Morton contends, nor does “Nature” exist as an entity separate from the uglier or more synthetic elements of life. Realizing this interconnectedness is what Morton calls the ecological thought.

In three concise chapters, Morton investigates the profound philosophical, political, and aesthetic implications of the fact that all life forms are interconnected. As a work of environmental philosophy and theory, The Ecological Thought explores an emerging awareness of ecological reality in an age of global warming. Using Darwin and contemporary discoveries in life sciences as root texts, Morton describes a mesh of deeply interconnected life forms—intimate, strange, and lacking fixed identity.

A “prequel” to his Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (Harvard, 2007), The Ecological Thought is an engaged and accessible work that will challenge the thinking of readers in disciplines ranging from critical theory to Romanticism to cultural geography.

(Source: Harvard University Press catalog)

Pull Quotes: 

Thinking the ecological thought is difficult: it involves becoming open, radically open -- open forever, without the possibility of closing again. Studying art provides a platform, because the environment is partly a matter of perception.

The ecological thought must imagine economic change; otherwise it's just another piece on the game board of capitalist ideology.

Meditation means exposing our conceptual fixations and exploring the openness of the mesh.

How to care for the neighbor, the strange stranger, and the hyper-object, are the long-term problems posed by the ecological thought.

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Cover of The Ecological Thought by Timothy Morton

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Eric Dean Rasmussen