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Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason (Environmental Philosophies) 0th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0415178785
ISBN-10: 0415178789
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Editorial Reviews Review

Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason is a frontal attack on the irrational assumptions that drive Western society's progress toward ecological catastrophe. Val Plumwood maintains that "the dominant forms of reason--economic, political, scientific, and ethical/prudential--are failing us because they are subject to a systematic pattern of distortions and illusions," distortions that are blind to ecological value. Plumwood aims to expose the conjurers' trick that has gotten us into our predicament. With aplomb and precision, she traces the historical and cultural roots of our reasons for dominating nature.

Environmental Culture is the kind of rigorous philosophical analysis that will fortify the intellectual body of environmentalism. Unfortunately, her prose occasionally lapses into postmodernese, which, for many readers, will obscure her otherwise careful thought. On the other hand, Plumwood's impressive familiarity with philosophy, political theory, and ecology makes her a sophisticated and captivating thinker. And she writes with a sense of urgency that is appropriate for the large-scale ecological destruction being wrought by our current systems. Ultimately, she recommends a new rationality and ethic that can restore the world, one based on fundamental shifts in our thinking, such as expanding our ethics to include other species, and developing a place-based spirituality. Plumwood's prescriptions may be harder to swallow than her compelling critique of our failure of reason, but they point the way toward a world healed of its ecological crisis. --Eric de Place


Environmental Culture is a rare blend of fierceness and tenderness. It boldly unmasks the institutional and systemic violence of our culture and simultaneously offers enchanting tributes to the communicativity and intentionality of earth others. This exceptional combination of political acumen and radical vulnerability marks Val Plumwood as one of the most brilliant environmental thinkers of our time.
–Patsy Hallen, Ethics & the Envionment

...a splendid contribution to contemporary debates about environmental issues.
–Sandra Harding, UCLA

...vintage Plumwood: clear, insightful, well-argued, compelling....Anyone interested in environmental, feminist, or political philosophy will want to read it.
–Karen Warren, Macalaster College

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Product Details

  • Series: Environmental Philosophies
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415178789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415178785
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Skoutas on April 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr Val Plumwood, one of Australia's original and creative environmental philosophers died from a heart attack at her home, Plumwood Mountain in NSW on 29th February 2008. Her lifetime contribution to philosophy, feminism and democracy is sincerely articulated by Freya Mathews (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) @[...]

Many philosophers are concerned with a better way of reasoning other than the adversarial and hierarchical modes that have dominated our Western culture. Val Plumwood's professional and personal quest was to explain and overcome this institutionalised flawed reasoning. Her convincing critique of western philosophy in her 'Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason' provides the foundation for her arguments in the early chapters of this book against our contemporary rational justifications of our androcentric and anthropocentric hegemony over nature, women and indigenous cultures. Plumwood then goes on to construct an argument for a better way to reason that builds on and acknowledges our existential indebtedness to what has been subjugated in order to live fulfilled lives in and with nature.

For a pod cast recently aired on Australia's national broadcaster see Radio National program about Val Plumwood @[...]
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