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Hardcover | Out of Print | 335 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 2002 | ISBN: 9780262232210
Paperback | $6.75 Short | £5.95 | 335 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 2002 | ISBN: 9780262731478
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Divided Natures

French Contributions to Political Ecology


In this book Kerry Whiteside introduces the work of a range of French ecological theorists to an English-speaking audience. He shows how thinkers in France and in English-speaking countries have produced different strains of ecological thought and suggests that the work of French ecological theorists could lessen pervasive tensions in Anglophone ecology.

Much of the theory written in English is shaped by the debate between anthropocentric ecologists, who contend that the value of our nonhuman surroundings derives from their role in fulfilling human interests, and ecocentric ecologists, who contend that the nonhuman world holds ultimate value in and of itself. This debate is almost nonexistent among French theorists, who tend to focus on the processes linking nature and human identity. Whiteside suggests that the insights of French theorists could help English-language theorists to extricate themselves from endless debates over the real center of nature’s value.

Among the French theorists discussed are Denis de Rougemont, Denis Duclos, René Dumont, Luc Ferry, André Gorz, Félix Guattari, Bruno Latour, Alain Lipietz, Edgar Morin, Serge Moscovici, and Michel Serres. The English-language theorists discussed include John Barry, Robyn Eckersley, Robert Goodin, Tim Hayward, Holmes Rolston III, and Paul Taylor.


“Every so often, a work comes along that is so timely...and this book is one such work.”—American Political Science Review


“This is an outstanding contribution to the field of environmental philosophy/politics. Nothing like it exists in the English-language literature.”
Michael Zimmerman, Department of Philosophy, Tulane University
“An original and significant contribution to the field. I am not aware of any other works in English that bring these particular theorists to the foreground. This book will appeal to academics working in the field, to postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students, and to a wider public engaged in the more philosophical aspects of environmental problems.”
Mathew Humphrey, School of Politics, University of Nottingham
“Whiteside's discussion of recent French thought is clear, well-written, and informative. He introduces to the English-speaking world theorists who have been unduly neglected, bringing up important issues that will raise the level of analysis and debate in Anglophone ecological discussions.”
John P. Clark, Professor of Philosophy and Chairperson, Environmental Studies Program, Loyola University