"This very welcome and timely effort lays foundations for thinking our way out of the epistemological errors and related politics that have plunged us into the present ecological crisis. Recovering the Commons represents an intellectual model that is desperately needed."--Mary Hufford, author of Waging Democracy in the Kingdom of Coal: OVEC and the Struggle for Social and Environmental Justice in Central Appalachia
Providing new practical and conceptual tools for responding to human and environmental crises in Appalachia and beyond, Recovering the Commons radically revises the framework of critical social thought regarding our stewardship of the civic and ecological commons. Herbert Reid and Betsy Taylor ally social theory, field sciences, and local knowledge in search of healthy connections among body, place, and commons that form a basis for solidarity as well as a vital infrastructure for a reliable, durable world. Drawing particularly on the work of French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Reid and Taylor reconfigure social theory by ridding it of the aspects that reduce place and community to sets of interchangeable components. Instead, they reconcile complementary pairs such as mind/body and society/nature in the reclamation of public space.