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Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Studies in Social, Political, & Legal Philosophy) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0742552012 ISBN-10: 0742552012

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Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Studies in Social, Political, & Legal Philosophy) + Ecofeminist Philosophy + Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Social, Political, & Legal Philosophy
  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (December 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742552012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742552012
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Why do so many environmentalists proclaim their love of nature but romanticize hunting and eat meat? Nature Ethics offers significant insight. There is very little that Kheel does not explore; reading Nature Ethics is like taking a fine course at a university. I would buy this book for the section on 'Vegan Practice alone.' Hats off to Marti Kheel and this wonderful book! (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Face on Your Plate: The Truth about Food)

[This is a] comprehensive and fair-minded account of the contrasting positions, particularly with respect to animals, between ecofeminist nature ethics and the celebrated holistic views of Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Holmes Rolston III, and Warwick Fox. Anyone interested in women’s studies, animal welfare, hunting, vegetarianism, or environmental ethics will find this impressive book helpful and challenging. (Peter Wenz)

Nature Ethics is a major contribution to ecofeminist philosophy, animal liberation, and environmental ethics. Marti Kheel provides an invaluable critique of the ecological position that accepts violence toward individual beings while professing love and respect for the larger natural world. (Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat)

Kheel’s book is a ground-breaking contribution to the literature and a must-read for anyone concerned with the links between environmental ethics, animal liberation and feminist critique of male cultural bias. (Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont School of Theology)

A major figure in ecofeminism, Kheel's original thinking about nature ethics culminates in this sweeping volume. She offers vital insights into the destructive consequences of a detached masculine self-identity, and a path toward the development of a genuinely inclusive nature ethic that respects all living beings. (Greta Gaard, University of Wisconsin)

This precise focus and the rigorous way in which she challenges ecophilosophies by scrutinising their attitudes towards individual animals brings the author’s inherent logic out into the open by applying it to individual action. Thus she is able to confront holist philosophers with an ethics of nature from an ecofeminist perspective. I have high regard for the transparency and the truly dialogical spirit in which Kheel carefully, and in a very accommodating way, puts forward her criticism and invites the reader to follow her line of argument, with its clear structure and precise naming of her standpoint and assumptions. Her challenging core thesis that the treatment of individual animals should be the benchmark for any nature ethic and her revelation of the underlying masculinist identity that permeates current concepts make the book a gainful read for feminist scholars, environmental philosophers at the graduate level, as well as activists interested in better understanding the traditions they bring forward. (Agriculture and Human Values 2011-06-23)

Review

"Nature Ethics provides a comprehensive and fair-minded account of the contrasting positions, particularly with respect to animals, between ecofeminist nature ethics and the celebrated holistic views of Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Holmes Rolston III, and Warwick Fox. Anyone interested in women's studies, animal advocacy, hunting, vegetarianism, or environmental ethics will find this impressive book helpful and challenging."

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I highly recommend this text to those interested in gender, other-than-human animals, and everything in between.
J. Grubbs
While the author never disdains these constructs, she admirably moves beyond, and behind, them, to reveal the individuals with whom we share the world, one by one.
Mariann Sullivan
In her recent book, "Nature Ethics," philosopher Marti Kheel activates my sympathy with "other than human" individuals.
N. Ivey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By N. Ivey on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
In her recent book, "Nature Ethics," philosopher Marti Kheel activates my sympathy with "other than human" individuals. Like Chief Seattle spoke, animals are our sisters and brothers. Kheel examines the holist nature philosophers prevalent in the field of environmental ethics. After explaining their contributions, she critiques their platforms including hyper-masculinity, ecosystems, ethics, and Deep Ecology. She consistently uncovers a focus on the abstract or universal "whole" embodied in generic concepts like "species" and "ecosystems," rather than a concern for particular individuals like the deer fleeing the hunter's bullet, or a doomed cow interred in a slaughterhouse. After defining the characteristic thought in the literature, Kheel disseminates the dominant zeitgesit of ecofeminism. I wrote a paper on ecofemnism and Kheel's book covers the field. She explains the "ethics of care" and applies it to care for particular others within nature, such as the domesticated animals raised for food and research. She describes "allopathic ethics." For instance, modern medicine meets a health challenge with battle, to radiate and poison the cancer tumor. ALternative medicine restores the strength of the person by reducing what makes them sick in the first place therefore restoring innate balance. To understand why humans devalue nature, Kheel researches the psycho-social underpinnings of gender development.The book ends with the stories of "other-than human" individuals such as the pig profiled in the movie "Babe" or the actual story of "Emily the cow" who in 1994 escaped a slaughterhouse in Boston. Kheel validates emotions and motivates people to refrain from killing by adopting a vegan lifestyle in response to animal suffering.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra Durham on March 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an animal behaviorist, I find that one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of my work is telling animals' stories. Telling the stories of nature and telling the stories of animals per se share many of the same inherent challenges and duties. When we tell our own stories, we have a duty to self and perhaps a duty to our audience, when there is one. When we tell stories that are not our own, we also have a duty to the other parties involved - especially when they cannot or do not take part in the telling.

In Nature ethics: An ecofeminist perspective Marti Kheel does a beautiful job of examining how prominent ethicists have framed nature - and thus how they tell the stories of nature (and describe our ethical responsibilities to nature). She finds many of the traditional approaches unsatisfactory and suggests a different approach, one of holistic ecofeminist philosophy that resonates with me:

"It is an invitation to dissolve the dualistic thinking that separates reason from emotion, the conscious from the unconscious, the 'domestic' from the 'wild,' and animal advocacy from nature ethics. It welcomes larger scientific stories of evolutionary and ecological processes*, but never loses sight of the individual beings who exist within these larger narratives. Ecofeminist philosophy never transcends or denies our capacity for empathy and care, our most important human connection with the natural world."

*I'd add ethological and perhaps even ethnographic here, too.

A timely and important examination of nature ethics that is sure to spark important thought and reflection. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Hoshaw on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
In this book, Marti Kheel calls into question the dominant utilitarian ethic in nature philosophy which regards the individual as expendable for the sake of the species. Ultimately, she validates the importance of subjective experience and emotion for ethical decision-making, challenging the masculinist orientations of previous nature philosophers.

This book is an important contribution to the work of bridging movements such as environmentalism, feminism, and animal rights, while raising questions and paving the way to implementing policy and measures to do so.

This is an essential read for anyone interested in the above topics.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brianne Donaldson on September 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
For scholar-activists concerned with systemic connections between animal, environmental and human oppression, Nature Ethics provides a lens through which to examine other philosophies, theologies and political and environmental theories. Exploring the connection that Kheel makes between human violence and socially constructed masculine identity is like donning a pair of 3-D glasses that exposes previously unseen dualisms in even the most esteemed perspectives on animal rights, Gandhian nonviolence, environmental protection and ecological holism.

The ecofeminist invitation to develop empathethic relationships with individual beings validates the experiences with animal suffering that move many toward activism in the first place. Kheel's refusal to rely solely on the "conceptual force" of rational arguments make her final call to a conscious ethos of contexualized care toward nature and individual other-than-human animals hard to resist. If you have ever been frustrated by rational or spiritual systems that don't seem to wed theory with praxis, Nature Ethics may illuminate why.
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