Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-8

Contents

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pp. ix-10

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

No one in my generation started out in ecocriticism, because the field did not exist. As I moved from traditional literary scholarship into environmental criticism and interdisciplinary alliances with philosophy and the sciences, I was fortunate to work in a university...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Playwright Eugene Ionesco described archaic humans as living in “a time, long, long ago, when the world seemed to man to be so charged with meanings that he didn’t have time to ask himself questions, the manifestation was so spectacular.” He claimed that at...

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CHAPTER 1. A Philosophy of Life

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pp. 13-44

Human beings and their cultures are deeply enmeshed in the coevolutionary history of life forms, as well as being dynamically involved with the nonliving forms, materials, and energies of the world. But most of Western philosophical tradition has defined...

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CHAPTER 2. Animal Kin

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pp. 45-99

W. H. Auden in his late poems offered a radical answer to the central question of humanism addressed by Pico della Mirandola, Montaigne, Hamlet, Descartes, Darwin, and Heidegger—what is the human? A marvelous chameleon, said Pico, who can move at will up and...

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CHAPTER 3. Language Is Everywhere

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pp. 101-134

Language is central to being human. From Descartes to Heidegger and most contemporary Western philosophers, language and its connection to rationality have defi ned the transcendent Logos that is supposed to distinguish our species.1 Merleau-Ponty spent his...

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Conclusion

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pp. 135-144

Merleau-Ponty wrote in his working notes near the end of his life that his goal was to restore to us the world of “the wild Being,” showing how it is absolutely different from our representations, which cannot exhaust it but which all “reach” it in limited ways....

Notes

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pp. 145-165

Bibliography

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pp. 167-180

Index

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pp. 181-187