In The Nature Of Things
Language, Politics, and the Environment
Publication Year: 1993
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Title Page, Copyright
Introduction: TV Dinners and the Organic Brunch
There has grown up in the United States in the late twentieth century a profuse and polyglot discourse about "nature." Profuse because the category "nature" encompasses so much—the geological, biological, and meteorological "environment"; animals and plants; human bodies; and the inherent character or moral essence we seek to discern in all of the above. ...
Part I: The Call of the Wild
1. The Great Wild Hope: Nature, Environmentalism, and the Open Secret
William Chaloupka, R. McGreggor Cawley
In 1985, a dormant volcano erupted in Colombia, South America, leaving more than 20,000 people dead. An earthquake rocked China in 1976, killing 250,000 people; another hit Armenia in 1988, killing 45,000 people; yet another shook Iran in 1990, killing 29,000 people. ...
2. Building Wilderness
This quotation from Heidegger tells how dwelling lets the wildness of things be, how it leaves to the sun and the moon their journey, the stars their courses, the seasons their differences, and the gods their absence. Leaving things alone, dwelling does not impose any truth on the thing that is not its own, but lets the wilderness of Being be. ...
3. Intimate Distance: The Dislocation of Nature in Modernity
Contemporary political theory has moved increasingly to adopt the methods of literary analysis in an effort to understand both canonical texts and current sociopolitical events. This analysis focuses less on the meaning of terms than on the role they play; it involves a "shift from historical definition to the problematics of reading."1 ...
Part II: Animal and Artifice
4. "Manning" the Frontiers: The Politics of (Human) Nature in Blade Runner
Michael J. Shapiro
Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner, like the Philip Dick novel on which it is based, places heavy pressure on the long-held assumptions that moral sentiments are uniquely human and that they provide an unambiguous boundary between humans and other creatures.1 One of the most thoroughgoing inquiries into the "moral sentiment" was Adam Smith's eighteenth-century treatment of morals ...
5. Brave New World in the Discourses of Reproductive and Genetic Technologies
"The final and most searching revolution . . . the really revolutionary revolution, is to be achieved not in the external world, but in the souls and flesh of human beings"—so wrote Aldous Huxley in a foreword to his novel Brave New World1 This foreword Huxley attached to his work some fifteen years after its initial publication in 1931. ...
6. Going Wild: The Contested Terrain of Nature
Jan E. Dizard
When Thoreau left Concord to seek meaning on the shores of Walden Pond, he wanted respite from the contrivances of civilization. He sought nature, which he assumed was separate from Concord and its artifice. But it is clear that Thoreau discovered something other than "pure nature." ...
Part III: Environmentalist Talk
7. Restoring Nature: Natives and Exotics
The October 1988 issue of Fremontia, journal of the California Native Plant Society, carried three succinct articles on coastal dune restoration projects occurring in the 1980s, in addition to several notes and one letter on the control of various exotic (alien, nonnative) species of plants. ...
8. Green Consumerism: Ecology and the Ruse of Recycling
Timothy W. Luke
The production, distribution, and consumption of material wealth are the effects of innumerable technical decisions made by product designers, industrial engineers, corporate managers, public administrators, and marketing executives. And, in exchange for a constantly increasing level of material comfort and economic security, ...
9. Green Fields/Brown Skin: Posting as a Sign of Recognition
Cheri Lucas Jennings, Bruce H. Jennings
While the relationship between pesticides and consumer health has been widely discussed, this discourse has neglected some of the most basic issues of agrarian practice. Consumer organizations continue to press for stronger residue testing programs and greater basic toxicology research but ignore an international policy that creates farm zones ...
Part IV: The Order(ing) of Nature
10. Voices from the Whirlwind
William E. Connolly
What is the character of things "below" or "prior to" culture? We will never answer this question as posed, for every attempt to do so draws upon the resources of culture. And yet, the attempt to pose such a question is unlikely to disappear either, for every interpretation projects presumptions about the primordial character of things into its presentation of actuality and possibility, identity and difference, good and evil. ...
11. Ecotones and Environmental Ethics: Adorno and Lopez
Hegel, in one of his many perceptive moments, described the modern age as the site of a continual struggle between faith and enlightenment.1 Put simply, the enlightenment attempts to posit the self as the ground of truth and being, while faith seeks truth and being in terms of a larger absolute Being in which it is submerged, by an act of pure faith in the beyond. ...
12. Primate Visions and Alter-Tales
In Primate Visions Donna Haraway offers a reading of primatology—its texts and textbooks, its National Geographic documentaries, its graduate programs—as a contemporary cultural tale about the natural and the human. She exposes the imprimatur of the myth of Eden on the scientific study of apes. This reading, like any other, proceeds by way of a set of political affirmations, moral priorities, and hopes for the future. ...
Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 1993
Edition: First edition
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