The Ecological Thought ePUB Ñ The Ecological Kindle

The Ecological Thought ✭ [PDF] ✪ The Ecological Thought By Timothy Morton ✺ – 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 con 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 synthetic elements of life Realizing this interconnectedness is what Morton calls The Ecological ThoughtIn three concise chapters Morton investigates the profound philosophical political and aesthetic implications of the fact that all life The Ecological Kindle - 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 identityA preuel to his Ecology without Nature Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics Harvard 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.

10 thoughts on “The Ecological Thought

  1. Allen O& Allen O& says:

    Some great writing in here but you do probably need to be a practised humanities reader to get the most out of itCentral thesis is something like; We need to let go the idea of 'natural' in order to understand our deeply embedded place in the ecological 'mesh' It's kinda about ooze and animal and hybrid as opposed to national parks and looking after birdsThis is not a book that is like those 'one idea expanded to 200 pages' non fiction 'ideas' books Also it is not a straight out philosophy book there is not the close argument you would expect to find there As Morton is an English professor he sometimes uses slightly off beat examples try English Romantics and Milton that you wouldn't expect to find in this philosophical territory but it doesn't unbalance the argumentThis is one idea pushed a very long way in an interesting way by a humanities writer who has escaped their discipline His writing is often rhetorical than strictly logical so if you prefer your continental philosophy over your analytical you will like the styleI find Morton's pushing very provocative and I am glad he escaped his discipline and I will read of him

  2. Karl Steel Karl Steel says:

    The position of hunting for anthropocentrism is anthropocentrism To claim that someone's distinction of animals and humans is anthropocentric because she privileges reason over passion is to deny reason to nonhumans We can't in good faith cancel the difference between humans and nonhumans Nor can we preserve it 76A nonsystematic brisk aphoristic preuel to Ecology without Nature Morton's been adopted by the object oriented ontologists for good reason although it's hard to tell whether his ecological thought allows for the withdrawn for itself and the interplay of real and sensual objects of Graham Harman CompareI hold that one billiard ball hides from another no less than the ball in itself hides from humans 188 and Real objects are incapable of direct contract and indeed many have no effect on one another at all Even the law of universal gravitation only applies among a narrow class of physical objects and even then concerns a limited portion of their realityobjects confront each other only by proxy Vicarious Causation 200to Morton'sNothing is complete in itself 33; nothing is self identical 83; BUT perhaps harmonious with Harman 'interconnection implies separateness and difference There would be no mesh is there were no strange strangers The mesh isn't a background against which the strange stranger appears 47I'm delighted to do without nature without abandoning materiality or real acting objects which per Harman and Latour may be ideas just as much as they might be so called realia; and I'm delighted with this book which if it weren't so obnoxiously priced would be a welcome addition to my graduate seminarSome favorite bits followReally thinking the mesh means letting go an idea that it has a center there is no being in the 'middle' what would 'middle' mean anyway? 38A dog might look cute until it bites into a partridge's neck 38excellent readings of Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner where we witness the Mariner ignoring the ethical entanglement with the other then restarting it or letting it restart from an imaginably nightmarish ground The disturbing inert passivity of life forms is the zero level of this encounter 47Morton sets himself against against the earthbound Heidegger whose environmentalism is a sad fascist stunted bonsai version forced to grow in a tiny iron flowerpot by a cottage in the German Black Forest We can do better 27; although he doesn't do without Heidegger altogether of course Heidegger poetically said that you never hear the wind in itself only the storm whistling in the chimney the wind in the trees The same is true of the mesh itself You never perceive it directly But you can detect it in the snails the sea thrift sic? and the smell of the garbage can The mesh is known through the being of the strange stranger 57Morton sets himself against uncritical conceptions of life There's something slightly sizeist about viewing life as suishy palpable substances as if all life forms shared our kinds of tisue This prejudice breaks down at high resolutions Viruses are large crystals The common cold virus is a short string of code packages as a twenty sides crystals; it tells DNA to make copies of itself Is the rhinovirus 'alive'? If you say yes you ought to consider a computer virus alive RNA based beings such as viruses reuires hosts in order to replicate so too I say do humans 67Humans are fairly uniuely good at throwing and sweating not much of a portfolio 71Without citing Derrida's discussion via Benthem of 'not being able' Morton says something similar We could categorize life forms according to weakness and vulnerability rather than strength and mastery and thus build platforms for finding solidarity in our shared incompetence 71Rugged bleak masculine Nature defines itself through extreme contrasts It's outdoorsy not 'shut in' It's extraverted not introverted It's heterosexual not homosexual It's able bodied 'disability' is nowhere to be seen and physical 'wholeness' and 'coordination' are valued over the spontaneous body 81 Masculine Nature is unrealistic In the mesh sexuality is all over the map Our cells reproduce asexually like their single celled ancestors or the blastocyst that attaches to the uterus wall at the beginning of pregnancy Plants and animals are hermaphrodites before they are bisexual and bisexual before they are heterosexual Most plants and half of animals are either seuentially or simultaneously hermaphorditic; many live with constant transgrender switching A statistically significant proportion of white tailed deer 10 percent plus are intersex 84 The ecological thought is also friendly to disability There are plentiful maladaptions and functionless phenomena at the organism level 85We need something like a 'no self' description of states of mind 'anger has arisen here' says enough of what is meanginful about 'I am angry' without fixing emotions in the amber of identity 119 but By not holding an objectlike picture of myself in mind by being true to my inability to pin myself down I'm being honest The ecological thought includes the subject as our trip through dark ecology showed The subject isn't an optional extra Subjectivity is like a waterbed push it down in one place it pops up in another Thinking that personhood is the enemy of ecology is a big mistake 120Very good when jettisoning the infinite despite invocation of the theist Levinas where he speaks for example of the shock of very large finitude 118 thus it's harder to imagine four and a half billion years than abstract eternity It might be harder to imagine evolution than to imagine abstract infinity It's a little humiliating 5; however he still uses the word infinite the evolutionaryecological mesh consists of infinite connections and infinitesimal differences 30

  3. Bernardo Ochoa Bernardo Ochoa says:

    You know that idea that you had when you were a kid about spiderwebs or anthills or beaver dams? That one where you paused and thought If spiders build spiderwebs and we build houses aren't houses a part of nature too? and then after you thought that the line between Nature and non nature got all blurry? This book is about that concept

  4. Adrik Adrik says:

    Morton´s image of the mesh as a material that connects us all is a very interesting one Many texts which speak about ecology will uickly point out that we are all both human and nonhuman beings interconnected While this statement is true and interesting it does not always take us deeper With the image of the mesh Morton does precisely that He explores how the mesh decreases the distance between all beings flattens all hierarchies and further highlights how our diverse world made up of so many parts actually comes together in a united whole to shape the cloth of creation

  5. Steven Steven says:

    I have thoughts about this book that probably aren't suited to a goodreads review So I'll just be productive and note that Ursula Heise reviewed a different Morton book but it might as well apply to this one

  6. Martin Hare Michno Martin Hare Michno says:

    There are certain concepts by Timothy Morton which I like the mesh strange strangers hyperobjects and especially ecology without Nature His writing on capitalism and postmodernism is great too However if you were to ask me to describe his ecological thought I don't think I'd be able to do it I gathered some ideas here and there but Morton jumps around a lot in his writing and at times I didn't really know what he meant

  7. Anna Anna says:

    I was inspired to look for Timothy Morton’s books in the library catalogue after reading this interview with him ‘The Ecological Thought’ is very different to the usual sort of books I read about environmental disaster; much abstract and philosophical In it Morton presents a number of new concepts including the Mesh an interconnectedness of all things essentially the Strange Stranger a personification of the Other I think and hyperobjects human creations that will vastly outlive us like polystyrene and plutonium His writing style is conversational and clearer than I expected given past experience of obscurantist philosopher theorists COUGH Žižek COUGH Nonetheless he brings in a variety of literary and pop culture references that at times seem to elide rather than elucidating his arguments The book gave me a lot to think about though and there were a number of points I found especially useful The first was this on data destroying illusionsLearning about global warming serves to make us feel something much worse than an existential threat to our lifeworld It forces us to realise that there never was a lifeworld in the first place that in a sense ‘lifeworld’ was an optical illusion that depended on our not seeing the extra dimension that NASA Google Earth and global warming mapping open up The information we acuire in the greedy pursuit of seeing everything the our sense of a deep rich coherent world will appear unavailable it will seem to have faded into the past nostalgia or to belong only to others primitivism I also appreciated this sensible comment about literature and the environment which recalled The Great Derangement Climate Change and the UnthinkableArt’s ambiguous vague ualities will help us think things that remain difficult to put into words Reading poetry won’t save the planet Sound science and progressive social policies will do that But art can allow us to glimpse beings that exist beyond our normal categoriesMorton has a great deal to say about evolution DNA and consciousness which I found interesting albeit not directly relevant to climate change As a social scientist I’m accustomed to a very anthropocentric view of environmental problems It was rather refreshing to come across a new angle even if I wasn’t always convinced of its helpfulness At other moments though Morton is very on the noseThere is global warming; there is an ecological emergency; I’m not a nihilist; the big picture view undermines right wing ideology which is why the right is so afraid of it However the melting world induces panic This is a problem philosophically and otherwise Again it’s a paradox While we absolutely have complete responsibility for global warming and must act now to curb emissions we are also faced with various fantasies about ‘acting now’ many of which are toxic to the kind of job humanists do There is an ideological injunction to act ‘Now’ while humanists are tasked with slowing down using our minds to find out what this all meansA further highlight Morton’s analysis of the Tragedy of the Commons a much abused and over simplified concept It’s amazing how often the centuries during which the commons were communally managed prior to enclosure are ignored Like Morton I find the idea of resources being unmanageable unless individually owned ‘grates on my left ecologist nerves’ At the end he marshals his ideas neatly into synthesis producing some especially uotable phrasesDNA has no flavor Nor is DNA a ‘blueprint’ as the common prejudice believes it’s a set of algorithmic instructions like a recipe book There is no picture of me in my DNASociety isn’t like a bunch of molecules randomly jostling each other with Brownian motion As Darwin argued even butterflies value choice It’s one of the abiding curiosities of capitalist ideology that it accords a gigantic value to choice in one sense and none whatsoever in anotherI enjoyed ‘The Ecological Thought’ and will look for of Morton’s work He has a uniue and appealing angle on the environment although I’ll reserve judgement on whether its value is greater than as a curiosity

  8. Eric Casteleijn Eric Casteleijn says:

    By no means ever buy this book I think the ideas in it are important and had I been able to finish reading it I would on the whole probably have agreed with most if not all of them but the writing is so exceedingly poor that it makes me want to punch the author in the face Metaphorically of course because I am not a violent man Metaphorically and repeatedlyNever mind that Wall E and Blade Runner seem to be the author's central sources of inspiration never mind that pretty much half the words in the book are in uotation marks The actual writing is so bad that I'm inclined to look into the possibility of having the author's license to use the English language revoked To exemplify I fear I have no option but to leave you with a uotation for which I apologize in advanceThis ghostly Nature inhibited the growth of the ecological thought Only now when contemporary capitalism and consumerism cover the entire Earth and reach deeply into its life forms is it possible ironically and at last to let go of this nonexistent ghost Exorcise fucking SIC is good for you and human beings are past the point at which Nature is a helpThat was on page 5 I believe I made it to 11Now again The fact that we consider ourselves and our culture and the mess we've created and continue to create to be separate from nature and ourselves somehow post evolutionary a laughable idea it is like considering ourselves no longer bound by the laws of gravity because we invented planes is dangerous and scary However with the likes of Mr Morton for our champions perhaps it is for the best that humanity now cede the stage to the cockroaches or the rats

  9. John John says:

    I wish I could say this was engaging but clarity isn't something that's sought here It's like watching words pile up around a central uestion until it becomes almost impossible to see through them And yet and yet he's on to something namely the heartbreak of living in a time of extinctionHe reminds me of Marshall Mcluhan who wrote hard to read books about the media designed not to espouse some personal topography but to open our eyes to the truth Break it to us gently perhaps Morton is adored by a lot of artists and there's something in his writing that lends itself to a certain brainy contemplation The star rating here is pointless Its one star and five stars and everything in between

  10. Tim Mcleod Tim Mcleod says:

    I'll have to disagree with the 'lucid' assessment of the page review There are some excellent ideas scattered throughout the essays yet I found the text to be a little too incoherent to absorb It reads like a brilliant lecture drunkenly delivered late at night by your favorite professor So if you are into that go for it I only wish a skilled editor could get her hands on this and cut out the boozy uips

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