EBOOK Ì EPUB After Nature ¶ 9780674368224 Ü JEDEDIAH PURDY

KINDLE ↠ After Nature á Jedediah Purdy

After NatureXist After Nature develops a politics for this post natural worldJedediah Purdy begins with a history of how Americans have shaped their landscapes He explores the competing traditions that still infuse environmental law and culture a frontier vision of settlement and development a wilderness seeking Romanticism a utilitarian attitude that tries to manage nature for human benefit and a twentieth century ecological view These traditions are ways of seeing the world and humans place in it They are also modes of lawmaking t Worth reading if it's in your fieldscope It traces attitudes towards the environment in an effort to discuss the political implications of the Anthropocene ultimately arguing for a kind of post human friendly form of democracy It was too American though or less a history of dominant American views of natureenvironment The title seemed to promise a bit of a theoretical and political engagement

MOBI After Nature

EBOOK Ì EPUB After Nature ¶ 9780674368224 Ü JEDEDIAH PURDY Ü Nature no longer exists apart from humanity Henceforth the world we will inhabit is the one we have made Geologists have called this new planetary epoch the Anthropocene the Age of Humans The geological strata we are now creating record induHat inscribe ideal visions on the earth itself Each has shaped landscapes that make its vision of nature real from wilderness to farmland to suburbs opening some new ways of living on the earth while foreclosing othersThe Anthropocene demands that we draw on all these legacies and go beyond them With human and environmental fates now inseparable environmental politics will become either deeply democratic or uneual and inhumane Where nothing is pure we must create ways to rally devotion to a damaged and ever changing worl Purdy offers a useful framework for periodizing different phases of the environmental imaginary in US history with specific attention to how this was embodied in law We see artifacts of these past ways of thinking about the environment in our land grant colleges in the suare counties of states like Iowa in the national parks in our laws governing pollution etc He traces how these environmental imaginaries emerge and how they inevitably coexist in tension or in harmony New ways of conceptualizing nature often subsume or cobble together those of the past The book was less strong at the end in which Purdy reflects on the environmental laws and participatory democracy needed in the Anthropocene I found the contrast between this new conceptualization and the fourth one of his periodization ecological somewhat unclear And I would have liked to see the final chapter move away from abstraction and to deeply engage with the global aspect of the problems we face Despite that it was a highly readable and well argued book and I would certainly recommended

Jedediah Purdy á After Nature KINDLE

Nature no longer exists apart from humanity Henceforth the world we will inhabit is the one we have made Geologists have called this new planetary epoch the Anthropocene the Age of Humans The geological strata we are now creating record industrial emissions industrial scale crop pollens and the disappearance of species driven to extinction Climate change is planetary engineering without design These facts of the Anthropocene are scientific but its shape and meaning are uestions for politics a politics that does not yet e A tease of book tantalizing frustrating ends with a kiss that could be so much Hugging a relatively conventional environmental history are a series of chapters that lay out and flirt with a potentially interesting series of arguments But the book doesn't do than touch on theseThe book opens with a prologue and introduction that take up the first fifty pages of the book a book that is less than three hundred pages; indeed the central narrative runs only about 175 pages before two concluding chapters It is these four parts and not the six body chapters that bring the excitementThe prologue lays out what it means to possibly be living in the anthropocene That is to say in a geological epoch that is marked most significantly by the actions of humans by the animals we drive to extinction and those we subsidize by the pollen of our crops that coat the earth and by the climate that we have decidedly altered If ever there was a division between humans and nature this is not clear and Purdy hedges it it's one of those topics I wish he had explored there no longer isFor Purdy this revolution in the understanding of nature is one of three important revolutions The others are the collapse in the belief of a politics that is natural and an economics that follows natural laws We now must confront that politics economics and nature are all our creations and our responsibility It's an open uestion whether humans will bother to pick up their responsibility Purdy understands that his book is written at a time when there's no indication that humans are ready to do so that there is no concept of we Her hopes his book might nudge the world toward burdening themselves with their responsibilityI am pessimistic than him though given all the different things humans are responsible for creating terrorism ineuality certain forms of disease etc that we have refused to deal with We continue to naturalize these problems Purdy's hope is that we stop using nature as a normative term altogether From his lips to God's earsOur responsibilities begin as Del Schwartz said in our dreams or what Purdy calls our imagination Humans imagine certain ways of interacting with the natural world and these imaginings our brought to fruition through laws which create the landscapes in which we live There is a circuit he says between imagination law and landscape Consider the Midwest's division in suare plots he says which came out of certain imagination and a certain legal regime Not all landscapes though are so carefully created and he admits that the landscape of his own youth the Appalachia is mostly ignored created out of indifferencePurdy has an admirably clear prose style and the lawyer's predilection for categories He's a legal scholar And so he identifies four different imaginings that have shaped America what he calls the Providential that God was given to humankind and can be completed and made perfect through labor' the Romantic in which certain sublime landscapes particularly montane ones are natural cathedrals for the spiritual development of the human self; the utilitarian in which nature is a storehouse of goods for humans to be carefully managed by experts; and the ecological in which nature is an intricate web that includes humans the good and the ill both propagating through itIn many ways one can see these as close to Foucaltian epistemes with one following the other but never completely eradicating the previous such that in the early 21st century we are the inheritors of all four our politics about nature drawing on each of these strands Each also has parts that are cut out and ways in which the radical implications of the projects are stopped The providential idea that characterized much of American action from its first discovery by Europeans into the early 19th century obviously ignored the place of Native Americans as well as the role of slaves in the economy and construction of the countryThe utilitarian view which underwrote the conservation movement of the first half of the twentieth century ignored democracy and ceded political decisions to a cadre of experts usually distant from the place where the actions were taken place The Romantic vision ignored the environmental issues of everyday life choosing to protect those places that became national parks and cites of vacations but not the places where people lived all the time The ecological vision arising since the 1960s has turned away from politics toward the market borrowing from the conservation movement without acknowledging that the act of pricing is political Inside each of these political moments were radical possibilities that were snubbed The providential imagination could have been radical if it opened up democratic citizenship to a wider array of people and if it avoided naturalizing concepts such as property and rights The Romantic vision turned away from the way their view could have connected humans to nature on the everyday level and instead opted for turning nature into a consumer object someplace to visit was touristsThe utilitarian vision promised to show that humans needed to take responsibility for the world that they created but rather than pursuing that idea vested the power in a few elites who were mostly concerned over the loss of white men's privilege Finally the ecological vision has turned into making everything a continuous crisis and has opted for market mechanisms over democratic ones Indeed Purdy sees two possible futures a neoliberal one that expands the already gaping global ineualities climate change destroying the poor while the rich are buffered and a democratic one in which a wider and wider array of people and things involve themselves in politics to discuss the outcomes they want without naturalizing any of the answersThis sets up a potentially interesting exploration of contemporary environmental politics whether one buys into the anthropocene or not but rather than follow up with a continuation of the argument Purdy dips back into history to show the development of each of these ideas and their application via particular legal regimes Which is ground that has been covered a lot over the last forty years by environmental historians Admittedlyt hey didn't use his categories but the story is well known by this point But instead of building on what's come before it feels as though Purdy is writing this book to bring legal scholars up to speed even as he barely cites environmental historians beyond Donald Worster and William CrononI really wanted him to assume the history and move on but it's not my book He did tell the story with interesting enough details but nothing here changes what environmental historians have been saying for twenty thirty yearsThen we come to the last couple of chapters where Purdy comes back to his argument He is very vested in the idea that the only way to deal with the issues is politics He cites Habermas here but the argument reminds me of another Marxist Steven Vogel whose Against Nature made many of the same arguments And while I am uncomfortable with the conclusion I also have to admit its wisdomMy discomfort is really a form of narcissism Politics sucks I want to be above it so I want a different way But there really isn't another way Politics is all we haveAnd we have to be clear about our terms which is where Purdy starts sketching in some interesting caveats to the democratic future he sees but never develops them fully Oh those wasted 175 pages He is careful to stomp out any recourses to one thing or another being natural and therefore unchangeable if nothing else that's what the anthropocene teaches us that we cannot use nature normatively He is also appropriately skeptical of expertise though he is not uite recursive enough on that since the debate over climate change is also a debate over who counts as expertise He also pushes against the humanism inherent in his story pointing toward recent work Jane Bennet eg who want to broaden democracy to involve non human actors and wondering what our responsibilities to animals are but these discussions are abbreviated and suggestive not definitive They are pointings toward essays but not essays themselvesThey are teasesAlthough I guess there are worse things to say about a book than that upon finishing you wanted