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Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Posthumanities) Paperback – September 23, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


In Hyperobjects, Timothy Morton brings to bear his deep knowledge of a wide array of subjects to propose a new way of looking at our situation, which might allow us to take action toward the future health of the biosphere. Crucially, the relations between Buddhism and science, nature and culture, are examined in the fusion of a single vision. The result is a great work of cognitive mapping, both exciting and useful.

—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Shaman, 2312, and the Mars trilogy

About the Author


Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He is the author of many books, including The Ecological Thought and Ecology without Nature. He blogs frequently at Ecology without Nature.

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Product Details

  • Series: Posthumanities
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (September 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816689237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816689231
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Working with? Björk, Haim Steinbach and Olafur Eliasson.
Just published? Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (U Minnesota P, 2013). Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (Chicago, 2015).
First edition of Hyperobjects sold out before it was released? Yes.
Bruno Latour likes? Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities P).
Thought for the day? Dark nihilism trumps happy nihilism.
Doings in the present? Thinking about ecology, matter, Buddhism, philosophy, aesthetics, Romantic to contemporary literature, art, music.
Where? Rice University.
Rita Shea Guffey Chair of English? Yes.
Is my new book called Dark Ecology? Yes.
Born? London, UK, 1968.
Educated? Oxford.
Jobs? Oxford, Princeton, New York University, University of Colorado at Boulder, UC Davis.
Misspent youth? The Crypt, Spectrum, Love, Land of Oz, Whirligig, Rage, Earth, Club Dog, Sound Factory (them were the days).
This involved music? Senser, psychedelic dance metal heads.
What other music have I done without regret? Experimental noise improvisation with my Argentinian friend Miguel Galperin; playing with Mike Snyder in my band Rubyliquid. All I have left is Logic...
Tantric obstacles? Ozric Tentacles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a little over halfway through the book, and I am enjoying it. I am in the applied social sciences, and my research examines how social systems and ecological systems influence each other, so I welcome anything that helps me to think creatively on that matter. I also am not a philosopher, so I don't know if I am really the best to judge the quality of ideas in this book.

One thing I am not so sure about though. Our brains weed out the large majority of the sensory information that hits us. Which means we continually only have partial pictures or models in our head of pretty much everything. So, doesn't that make everything a hyperobject? Isn't that kind of the basis of phenomenology in general?

Anyway, it is an interesting read so far, and I am enjoying trying to apply the concepts Merton is using, although I don't know if I will stick with this framework.
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Occasionally, a new book comes along with a concept so startling that you never see the world in the same way again. Hyperobjects is such a book. Concepts, ideas, and entities that Morton terms "hyperobjects" challenge and then defeat traditional thinking about how the worlds works. This way of thinking is critical to fully understanding the consequences of climate change, the technology revolution, chemicalization of the environment, and the coming paradigm shift resulting from the confluence of these changes. Transformational thinking, such as Morton presents in Hyperobjects, is not the first step - that occurred in the 1970s with the whole earth concept and later presented as the Gaia hypothesis - it's the first leap into comprehending the world we live in now and that near future generations will inhabit.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent multidimensional approach to posing an interesting problem in a human approachable way using contemporary language and not digging out outdated dead men to support the argument, only occasionally, when appropriate, and without curtsying to patriotism or seeking credibility with statistical juggling.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Unfortunately, another grab-bag of slogans and concepts without adequate epistemological grounding. As a professional academic and teacher of philosophy, I wish writers such as Morton would curb the urge to write hype, and pay more attention to setting out proper arguments about their claims to knowledge. If we should know the world in new ways - then the problems with our current paradigms need proper discussion. This is journalistic 'theory' - not to be taken seriously.
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The idea of a hyperobject is, I think, a vital one. Morton makes a compelling case for this, and I have no doubt that there is good philosophical work to be done with this concept. The trouble, I think, is that he proceeds to overdo it. His writing is dense, and that is to be expected with such strange and technically complex ontology. At times, however, I realised that it was vastly more Byzantine than it needed to be. Philosophy of all strains should aim at clarity, not performance. Morton, disappointingly, cannot help but perform.
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There is a dynamic and creative movement in philosophy today, generally identifying itself as speculative realism, which has grown out of the most radical thinking of the 20th century in phenomenology, process philosophy, and French postmodernism and which is fluorishing in England and America in the English language. Timothy Morton's version is strikingly original while remaining well-grounded in the work of Bergson, Heidegger, and Deleuze, with the added value of his passionate and inspired awareness of the ecological crises facing humanity. This is really philosophy worth reading.
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Really enjoyed it. Ecology is much more interesting to me now, and Morton's way of approaching and blending subjects like global warming, oil, Heidegger, capitalism, Wall-E, Nietzsche, sustainability, Monty Python, Buddhism, Aristotle, the Beatles, the Talking Heads, etc. all so seamlessly is great. Most aspects of OOO, and traits of hyperobjects like viscosity and undulation, are still beyond me. Nonetheless, it remained a challenging, fun, awareness-enhancing read. Morton works hard and does well to communicate difficult ideas in thoughtful and creative ways, even to novices.
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Ok, I am nowhere near finished with this...I got the Kindle version but have been too busy to really sink my teeth into it...and I am barely able to understand this stuff...but OMG! It's one "Aha!" moment after another... I haven't been this jazzed about a book or idea since Keith Dowman's "Spaciousness" (my favorite book). And for such a genius, Timothy Morton is totally down to earth, with a dry humor that captivates.
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