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Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life Paperback – February 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231161255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231161251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A superbly presented seminal work.... Highly recommended.

(Midwest Book Review 1900-01-00)

Profoundly original

(Choice)

We owe Marder...a great debt for widening the contemporary philosophical discussion of life and ethics, taking it into the plant kingdom.

(Jeffrey T. Nealon Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

Michael Marder's book Plant-Thinking is a timely contribution to the project of expanding ethical considerations to non-human beings.... This is a strong contribution to the post-metaphysical project.

(Canadian Philosophical Review 1900-01-00)

Life-changing

(Bangalore Review 1900-01-00)

All who get a taste of this succulent study will find much food for thought.

(Library Journal (Starred))

Anyone can find something of note or amusement here.

(Publishers Weekly)

Review

For too long has the human mind been limited by thinking like a machine. Mechanistic thought has allowed humans to unleash violence on other species, both animals and plants. Plant-Thinking will help plants, but, even more importantly, it will help humans by understanding the sanctity and continuity of life and our place in the Earth Family.

(Vandana Shiva, activist and ecofeminist)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Auerbach on April 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a brilliant piece of academic satire. By employing various popular facets of au courant post-structuralist philosophy (Levinas, Derrida, Deleuze & Guattari, ecocriticism, etc.), Marder has put together a perfectly professional assemblage in favor of extending human and animal rights to plants.

Marder has gotten a lot of flak for his views, but whenever he debates others in his field, he wins. Why? Because they have no defense but to fall back into essentialist and hierarchical positions that their tradition has rejected as anathema. One critic said that plants aren't "sentient" and lack "intentionality," but these are not tenable arguments in the post-structuralist argot. So Marder calls his opponents reactionary and hegemonic, and by their own standards, they are. Marder writes:

"First, it seems that the "food chain," at the top of which we, humans, presumably are, is the contemporary reflection of the metaphysical Great Chain of Being. In my view it is not enough to meddle with only one aspect of this structure (the relation between humans and animals), while leaving the rest intact. I would think that we need to question such hierarchical formations in all respects, and I am yet to hear my vegan friends endorse this position."

"The other who (or that) bestows upon us our humanity need not be--in keeping with Aristotle's preferred points of comparison in The Politics--a god or a beast, the magnificently superhuman or the deplorably subhuman. It may well be the most mundane and unobtrusive instance of alterity, to which we do not dare to compare ourselves: the plant.
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Format: Paperback
The other reviewers are hillarious. One of them claims that the book is an anti-postmodern satire, while another asserts that it's a satirical attack on anti-postmodernists?! This might tell us a lot about contemporary "continental" philosophy. Or at least about satire...
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More About the Author

Michael Marder is IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy, at the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz. For more information, visit his webpage at www.michaelmarder.org.

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