Environmental Renaissance: Emerson, Thoreau, & the American System of Nature
Andrew McMurryISBN: 0820325309;
Book DescriptionThrough contemporary environmental philosophy and emerging paradigms in complex systems theory, Andrew McMurry presents a new reading of Emerson, Thoreau, and the green tradition in American thought. McMurry analyzes Emerson and Thoreau'sfoundational roles in the formation of the two main currents in American environmentalism: the managerial, or "shallow," and the radical, or "deep." The author draws, in particular, on Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela's theory of autopoesis andthe social systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. These theories, says McMurry, give us the conceptual tools to update Emerson and Thoreau's philosophies of nature, literary aesthetics, and attitudes toward pastoralism for the current age of environmental risk and uncertainty. McMurry's systems approach helps us to recast essentialist, ultimately debilitating binaries such as nature/culture, wilderness/civilization, and wild/tame along the lines of a suppler, richer distinction: that between...
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