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After Nature


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About the Author

Jedediah Purdy is Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law.


It's good to have as powerful a mind as Professor Purdy's taking on these questions so central to our modern life. Every page has insights that will help people struggling to understand how we got here and where we're headed.--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
Jedediah Purdy has written a big book, taking up a set of profound environmental questions and offering sweeping answers... The strengths of After Nature are significant and make this a must-read book for all who are struggling with how to reinvigorate environmental protection in the face of political breakdown in America and troubling global trends, including the emerging risk of climate change... The journey he maps is illuminating. In fact, perhaps the greatest strength of After Nature is its intellectual history of American environmentalism... With this book, Purdy shows himself to be a deep thinker on the nature of Nature... Purdy offers a provocative ecological vision and ethical argument that deserves to be reckoned with. He has established himself among the top tier of environmental philosophers of our day.-- (12/06/2015)
After Nature argues that we will deserve the future only because it will be the one we made. We will live, or die, by our mistakes.-- (09/01/2015)
After Nature takes the reader on a smart and eloquent tour of the history of conservation movements, the rise of the study of ecology (and its flourishing in the wake of the Vietnam War) and the gradual expansion of environmental law, but Purdy is at his most insightful and persuasive when writing about the first of his 'major realms, ' economy--and the subtle ways money has been shaping nature for centuries to suit its own needs... In the previous year, there've been many studies of the deeper meaning of the Anthropocene and the future of humanity, studies ranging from the impenetrable to the inconsolable. After Nature is by a wide margin the best of these books; in its passion, intelligence, and persistent thread of hope, it may very well be the Silent Spring of the 21st century.-- (09/01/2015)
Deeply considered and finely laid out... To begin reading it is to open and decipher a compressed and encrypted file on a history of ideas about what nature means at the heart of the Anthropocene. Purdy draws on law, letters, philosophy, science, social science, politics, and aesthetics; from Locke, Rousseau, and Burke, through Jefferson, all the way to the recent past of the ecological age's beginnings, the urgent catastrophe of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962), and our contemporary moment, after 'crisis had become the normal state of affairs, ' closing with ideas about nature and the posthuman from Rosi Braidotti, among others. Somewhere in between, Purdy manages to give a history of private property--how 'each version of nature has its economy.' If the ominous political near past and the planet's environmental emergency feel present on every page, so, too, does a sense of the role we each have in shaping the future.-- (12/01/2016)

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