After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene

After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene

by Jedediah Purdy


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An Artforum Best Book of the Year
A Legal Theory Bookworm Book of the Year

Nature no longer exists apart from humanity. Henceforth, the world we will inhabit is the one we have made. Geologists have called this new planetary epoch the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans. The geological strata we are now creating record industrial emissions, industrial-scale crop pollens, and the disappearance of species driven to extinction. Climate change is planetary engineering without design. These facts of the Anthropocene are scientific, but its shape and meaning are questions for politics—a politics that does not yet exist. After Nature develops a politics for this post-natural world.

After Nature argues that we will deserve the future only because it will be the one we made. We will live, or die, by our mistakes.”
—Christine Smallwood, Harper’s

“Dazzling…Purdy hopes that climate change might spur yet another change in how we think about the natural world, but he insists that such a shift will be inescapably political… For a relatively slim volume, this book distills an incredible amount of scholarship—about Americans’ changing attitudes toward the natural world, and about how those attitudes might change in the future.”
—Ross Andersen, The Atlantic

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674979864
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 02/19/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 799,944
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jedediah Purdy is Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Introduction 11

1 An Unequal Terrain 51

2 God's Avid Gardeners 70

3 Nature as Teacher 96

4 Natural Utopias 116

5 A Conservationist Empire 153

6 A Wilderness Passage into Ecology 188

7 Environmental Law in the Anthropocene 228

8 What Kind of Democracy? 256

Notes 291

Acknowledgments 310

Index 313

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