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Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Posthumanities) by [Morton, Timothy]
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Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Posthumanities) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3115 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (October 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: October 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FP9EI5Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,999 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Based on some comments on line, I thought this book would be a useful exploration of environmental ideas that have widespread subscription, yet little understanding by its subscribers. Sustainable development, mass extinction, climate change, and ecomodernism are examples.

As a natural scientist who believes the separation of knowledge into natural and social science and the humanities needs to eliminated, this sounded promising. Environmental ideas are syntheses of all three ways of knowing, so I was excited by the author's approach.

The natural science, however, is, in most places, extraordinarily weak and often wrong. The use of the personal and popular, described by the author as devices for the exposition, is actually a mask for what the author cannot resolve or treat efficiently. Sometimes they seem almost deliberate distractions, like using display to distract from lack of coherent content.

I really cannot recommend this book, though I admit that perhaps it simply does not work for me. Clearly others like it.

I see nothing new or sensible in hyper objects. Indeed, it makes a muddle of important constructs of pressing importance and that is hard to tolerate.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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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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Absolutely essential perspectives on our ability (or lack thereof) of absorbing complex things into our consciousness that are nonetheless as real as the nose in front of your face. Our survival depends on grasping the meaning of what Morton addresses. It is very much in question whether we really can. This writing could be seen as a part of the OOO canon as it stands so far.
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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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