The Social Creation Of Nature

Overview

One reason for our failure to "save the earth," argues Neil Evernden, is our disagreement about what "nature" really is—how it works, what constitutes a risk to it, and even whether we ourselves are part of it. Nature is as much a social entity as a physical one. In addition to the physical resources to be harnessed and transformed, it consists of a domain of norms that may be called upon in defense of certain social ideals. In exploring the consequences of conventional understandings of nature, The Social ...

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Overview

One reason for our failure to "save the earth," argues Neil Evernden, is our disagreement about what "nature" really is—how it works, what constitutes a risk to it, and even whether we ourselves are part of it. Nature is as much a social entity as a physical one. In addition to the physical resources to be harnessed and transformed, it consists of a domain of norms that may be called upon in defense of certain social ideals. In exploring the consequences of conventional understandings of nature, The Social Creation of Nature also seeks a way around the limitations of a socially created nature in order to defend what is actually imperiled—"wildness," in which, Thoreau wrote, lies hope for "the preservation of the world."

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

New Scientist
A thoughtful and illuminating book... For Evernden, 'wildness' is what should be defended and preserved.
Environmental History Review
Sociobiologists talk about human life as if it were no more than an element of Nature, bound by its iron laws. Neil Evernden makes an end run around them by showing that once upon a time 'Nature' did not exist. Rather, he says, it is a human invention and it has a history.
Environmental History Review

Sociobiologists talk about human life as if it were no more than an element of Nature, bound by its iron laws. Neil Evernden makes an end run around them by showing that once upon a time 'Nature' did not exist. Rather, he says, it is a human invention and it has a history.

New Scientist

A thoughtful and illuminating book... For Evernden, 'wildness' is what should be defended and preserved.

Booknews
Evernden traces the evolution of the concept of five centuries, with a view to indicating what the impediments to change are and how we might have to think about the human/nature relationship if alternatives are to be fostered. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801845482
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 The Ambiguity of Nature 1
1 The Social Use of Nature 3
2 Nature and Norm 18
Pt. 2 The Creation of Nature 37
3 The Purification of Nature 39
4 From nature to Nature 57
5 The Literal Landscape 72
6 The Fragile Division 88
Pt. 3 The Liberation of Nature 105
7 Nature and the Ultrahuman 107
Epilogue 127
Notes 135
Bibliographical Essay 167
Index 175
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