Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone: Cultivating Wisdom

Overview

Philosophy and gardens have been closely connected from the dawn of philosophy, with many drawing on their beauty and peace for philosophical inspiration. Gardens in turn give rise to a broad spectrum of philosophical questions. For the green-fingered thinker, this book reflects on a whole host of fascinating philosophical themes.

  • Gardens and philosophy present a fascinating combination of subjects, historically important, and yet scarcely ...
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Overview

Philosophy and gardens have been closely connected from the dawn of philosophy, with many drawing on their beauty and peace for philosophical inspiration. Gardens in turn give rise to a broad spectrum of philosophical questions. For the green-fingered thinker, this book reflects on a whole host of fascinating philosophical themes.

  • Gardens and philosophy present a fascinating combination of subjects, historically important, and yet scarcely covered within the realms of philosophy
  • Contributions come from a wide range of authors, ranging from garden writers and gardeners, to those working in architecture, archaeology, archival studies, art history, anthropology, classics and philosophy
  • Essays cover a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from Epicurus and Confucius to the aesthetics and philosophy of Central Park
  • Offers new perspectives on the experience and evaluation of gardens 
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The "Philosophy for Everyone" series is made up of new philosophical takes on subjects not usually addressed from the philosophical perspective. Gardening is not absent from philosophy; after all, Voltaire's Candide ends with the admonition to "cultivate our garden." This book examines how gardening is like philosophy and vice versa. As might be expected, aesthetics is a major focus of the essays, with forays to Central Park and the garden at Dumbarton Oaks. Much space is also given to political philosophy and some fascinating explorations into the political and philosophical ramifications of historical gardening in London and Aztec Mexico. Virtue ethics are another important aspect of the philosophy of gardening: the consensus among philosophers is that one way or another, cultivating a garden also cultivates the body and soul to the betterment of both. The authors of the essays gathered here by O'Brien (research fellow, Oxford Brookes Univ.) are scholars of philosophy, art history, and landscape design, and many of them are gardeners. VERDICT The series is likely to appeal to armchair philosophers and undergraduates alike, and this volume will give gardeners of an intellectual bent a philosophical justification for their hobby.—Margaret Heller, Dominican Univ. Lib., River Forest, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444330212
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Series: Philosophy for Everyone Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor

Dan O’Brien is a Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, an Honorary Research Fellow at Birmingham University, and an Associate Lecturer with the Open University. He is the author of An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (2006) and Hume’s “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding”: A Reader’s Guide (with Alan Bailey, 2006). In addition, he has recently edited a special volume of Philosophica on the epistemology of testimony.

Series Editor

Fritz Allhoff is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Western Michigan University, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. In addition to editing the Philosophy for Everyone series, Allhoff is the volume editor or co-editor for several titles, including Wine & Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), Whiskey & Philosophy (with Marcus P. Adams, Wiley, 2009), and Food & Philosophy (with Dave Monroe, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements (Dan O’Brien).

Foreword (David E. Cooper).

Planting the Seed: An Introduction to Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone (Dan O’Brien).

Part I: The Good Life

1 The Virtues of Gardening (Isis Brook).

2 Cultivating the Soul: The Ethics of Gardening in Ancient Greece and Rome (Meghan T. Ray).

3 Escaping Eden: Plant Ethics in a Gardener’s World (Matthew Hall).

4 Food Glorious Food (Helene Gammack).

Part II: Flower Power

5 Plants, Prayers and Power: The Story of the First Mediterranean Gardens (Jo Day).

6 Brussels Sprouts and Empire: Putting Down Roots (Michael Moss).

7 Transplanting Liberty: Lafayette’s American Garden (Laura Auricchio).

8 Cockney Plots: Allotments and Grassroots Political Activism (Elizabeth A. Scott).

Part III: The Flower Show

9 Hortus Incantans: Gardening as an Art of Enchantment (Eric MacDonald).

10 Gardens, Music and Time (Ismay Barwell and John Powell).

11 The Pragmatic Picturesque: The Philosophy of Central Park (Gary Shapiro).

Part IV: The Cosmic Garden

12 Illusions of Grandeur: A Harmonious Garden for the Sun King (Robert Neuman).

13 Time and Temporality in the Garden (Mara Miller).

14 Cultivating Our Garden: David Hume and Gardening as Therapy (Dan O’Brien).

Part V: Philosophers’ Gardens

15 The Garden of the Aztec Philosopher-King (Susan Toby Evans).

16 Epicurus, the Garden, and the Golden Age (Gordon Campbell).

17 Gardener of Souls: Philosophical Education in Plato’s Phaedrus (Anne Cotton).

Appendix A: Notes on Contributors.

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