In this Book

The Nature of Being Human
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summary
Although the physical relationship between the natural world and individuals is quantifiable, the psychosocial effect of the former on the latter is often less tangible. What, for instance, is the connection between the environment in which we live and our creativity? How is our consciousness bounded and delimited by our materiality? And from whence does our idea of self and our belief in free will derive and when do our surroundings challenge these basic assumptions? Ecocritic Harold Fromm's challenging exploration of these and related questions twines his own physical experiences and observations with insights gathered from both the humanities and the sciences. Writing broadly and personally, Fromm explores our views of nature and how we write about it. He ties together ecology, evolutionary psychology, and consciousness studies to show that our perceived separation from our surroundings is an illusory construct. He argues for a naturalistic vision of creativity, free will, and the literary arts unimpeded by common academic and professional restraints. At each point of this intellectual journey, Fromm is honest, engaging, and unsparing. Philosophical, critical, often personal, Fromm's sweeping, interdisciplinary, and sometimes combative essays will change the way you think about your place in the environment.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction. From Environmentalism to Consciousness
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. PART ONE: ECOLOGY
  1. 1 Awakening to the “Environment”
  2. pp. 13-21
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  1. 2 On Being Polluted
  2. pp. 22-37
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  1. 3 From Transcendence to Obsolescence: A Route Map
  2. pp. 38-47
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  1. 4 Air and Being: The Psychedelics of Pollution
  2. pp. 48-57
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  1. 5 Ecocriticism’s Genesis
  2. pp. 58-64
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  1. 6 Ecology and Ideology
  2. pp. 65-77
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  1. 7 Aldo Leopold: Esthetic “Anthropocentrist”
  2. pp. 78-84
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  1. 8 Postmodern Ecologizing: Circumference without a Center
  2. pp. 85-94
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  1. 9 The “Environment” Is Us
  2. pp. 95-103
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  1. 10 Ecology and Ecstasy on Interstate 80
  2. pp. 104-117
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  1. 11 Full Stomach Wilderness and the Suburban Esthetic
  2. pp. 118-122
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  1. 12 Coetzee’s Postmodern Animals
  2. pp. 123-132
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  1. PART TWO: “NATURE” AND EVOLUTION
  1. 13 My Science Wars
  2. pp. 135-145
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  1. 14 O, Paglia Mia!
  2. pp. 146-156
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  1. 15 A Crucifix for Dracula: Wendell Berry Meets Edward O. Wilson
  2. pp. 157-166
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  1. 16 The New Darwinism in the Humanities
  2. pp. 167-188
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  1. 17 Ecocriticism’s Big Bang
  2. pp. 189-197
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  1. 18 Overcoming the Oversoul: Emerson’s Evolutionary Existentialism
  2. pp. 198-220
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  1. 19 Back to Bacteria: Richard Dawkins’ Fabulous Bestiary
  2. pp. 221-229
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  1. PART THREE: CONSCIOUSNESS
  1. 20 Muses, Spooks, Neurons, and the Rhetoric of “Freedom”
  2. pp. 233-246
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  1. 21 John Searle and His Ghosts
  2. pp. 247-252
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  1. 22 Daniel Dennett and the Brick Wall of Consciousness
  2. pp. 253-262
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  1. 23 The Crumbling Mortar of Social Construction
  2. pp. 263-269
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  1. Conclusion. My Life as a Robot
  2. pp. 271-277
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 279-288
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 289-298
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