Shierry Weber Nicholsen

Shierry Weber Nicholsen teaches environmental philosophy and psychology in Antioch University Seattle's M.A. Program on Environment and Community and is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She has translated several works by Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas.

  • The Love of Nature and the End of the World

    The Love of Nature and the End of the World

    The Unspoken Dimensions of Environmental Concern

    Shierry Weber Nicholsen

    A psychological exploration of how the love of nature can coexist in our psyches with apathy toward environmental destruction.

    Virtually everyone values some aspect of the natural world. Yet many people are surprisingly unconcerned about environmental issues, treating them as the province of special interest groups. Seeking to understand how our appreciation for the beauty of nature and our indifference to its destruction can coexist in us, Shierry Weber Nicholsen explores dimensions of our emotional experience with the natural world that are so deep and painful that they often remain unspoken.

    The Love of Nature and the End of the World is a gathering of meditations and collages. Its evocations of our emotional attachment to the natural world and the emotional impact of environmental deterioration are meant to encourage individual and collective reflection on a difficult dilemma. Nicholsen draws on work in environmental philosophy and ecopsychology; the writings of psychoanalytic thinkers such as Wilfred Bion, Donald Meltzer, and D. W. Winnicott; and ideas from Buddhist and Sufi traditions. She shows how our emotional responses to the vulnerabilities of the natural world range from intense caring and compassion, through grief and outrage, to diffuse depression. Individual chapters focus on silence and the process whereby we move from the unspoken to the spoken, the love of nature, the "perceptual reciprocity" with the natural world to which we might mature, beauty in the human and natural realms, the psychological impact of the destruction of the natural world, and reflections on the future.

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Exact Imagination, Late Work

    Exact Imagination, Late Work

    On Adorno's Aesthetics

    Shierry Weber Nicholsen

    In Exact Imagination, Late Work, Shierry Weber Nicholsen begins the process of appropriating Adorno through the centrality of the aesthetic dimension.

    Until now, most English-language writing on Adorno has attempted to place him in various contexts and to differentiate him from other thinkers. Such work, while important, masks our failure to imaginatively appropriate Adorno's ideas. In Exact Imagination, Late Work, Shierry Weber Nicholsen begins the process of appropriation through the centrality of the aesthetic dimension.

    Adorno uses the term "exact imagination" to describe nondiscursive rationality. Exact imagination, which is the opposite of creative imagination, marks the conjunction of knowledge, subjective experience, and aesthetic form. Unlike exact imagination, "late work" is characterized by the disjunction of subjectivity and objectivity.

    Exact imagination and late work mark the bounds of Nicholsen's exploration. The five interlocked essays, based on material from Adorno's "aesthetic writings," take up such issues as subjective aesthetic experience, the historicity of artworks and our experience of them, Adorno's conception of language, the nature of configurational or constellational form in Adorno's work, and the relation between the artwork, aesthetic experience, and philosophy. A subtext is the unraveling of Adorno's use of the ideas of his colleague Walter Benjamin. Nicholsen's essays themselves can be perceived as a constellation of their own around the central issue of the inseparability of form in its aesthetic dimension and nondiscursive rationality.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $25.00

Contributor

  • Hegel

    Hegel

    Three Studies

    Theodor W. Adorno

    This short masterwork in twentieth-century philosophy provides both a major reinterpretation of Hegel and insight into the evolution of Adorno's critical theory. The first study focuses on the relationship of reason, the individual, and society in Hegel, defending him against the criticism that he was merely an apologist for bourgeois society. The second study examines the experiential content of Hegel's idealism, considering the notion of experience in relation to immediacy, empirical reality, science, and society. The third study, "Skoteinos," is an unusual and fascinating essay in which Adorno lays out his thoughts on understanding Hegel. In his reflections, which spring from his experience teaching at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, questions of textual and philosophical interpretation are intertwined. Rescuing the truth value of Hegel's work is a recurring theme of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and nowhere is this goal pursued with more insight than in these three studies. The core problem Adorno sets for himself is how to read Hegel in a way that comprehends both the work and its historical context, thereby allowing conclusions to be drawn that may seem on the surface to be exactly opposed to what Hegel wrote but that are, nevertheless, valid as the present truth of the work. It is the elaboration of this method of interpretation, a negative dialectic, that was Adorno's underlying goal. Adorno's efforts to salvage the contemporaneity of Hegel's thought form part of his response to the increasingly tight net of social control in the aftermath of World War II. In this, his work is related to the very different attempts to undermine reified thinking undertaken by the various French theorists. The continued development of what Adorno called "the administered world" has only increased the relevance of his efforts.

    • Hardcover $26.00
    • Paperback $35.00