From the Inside Flap
For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify.
The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America.
Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic.
Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal
About the Author
Lorraine Daston is the director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She is the author of Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, coauthor of Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150 1750, and editor of Biographies of Scientific Objects, the last published by the University of Chicago Press.
Fernando Vidal is a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He is author of Piaget before Piaget and the forthcoming Analyse et sauvegarde de l'âme au siècle des Lumières.