Contemporary ideas of nature were largely shaped by schools of thought from Western cultural history and philosophy until the present-day concerns with environmental change and biodiversity conservation. There are many different ways of conceptualising nature in epistemological terms, reflecting the tensions between the polarities of humans as masters or protectors of nature and as part of or outside of nature.
The book shows how nature is today the focus of numerous debates, calling for an approach which goes beyond the merely technical or scientific. It adopts a threefold - critical, historical and cross-disciplinary - approach in order to summarise the current state of knowledge. It includes contributions informed by the humanities (especially history, literature and philosophy) and social sciences, concerned with the production and circulation of knowledge about "nature" across disciplines and across national and cultural spaces. The volume also demonstrates the ongoing reconfiguration of subject disciplines, as seen in the recent emergence of new interdisciplinary approaches and the popularity of the prefix "eco-" (e.g. ecocriticism, ecospirituality, ecosophy and ecofeminism, as well as subdivisions of ecology, including urban ecology, industrial ecology and ecosystem services). Each chapter provides a concise overview of its topic which will serve as a helpful introduction to students and a source of easy reference.
This text is also valuable reading for researchers interested in philosophy, sociology, anthropology, geography, ecology, politics and all their respective environmentalist strands.
Aurelie Chone is Associate Professor in German Cultural Studies at the Faculty of World Languages and Cultures, University of Strasbourg, France. Isabelle Hajek is Associate Professor in Sociology at the Institute for Urbanism and Regional Development, University of Strasbourg, France. Philippe Hamman is Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Urbanism and Regional Development, University of Strasbourg, France.
Introduction: Rethinking the idea of nature Aurelie Chone, Isabelle Hajek & Philippe Hamman Part I - Values and actions 1 Environmental ethics Catherine Larrere 2 Ecosophy Hicham-Stephane Afeissa 3 Ecospirituality Aurelie Chone 4 Ecopsychology Dennis L. Merritt Part II - Writings and representations 5 The aesthetics of nature Nathalie Blanc 6 Ecocriticism Emmanuelle Peraldo 7 Epistemocritical perspectives on nature Laurence Dahan Part III - Movements, activism and societies 8 From Lebensreform to political ecology Catherine Repussard 9 Ecofeminism Margot Lauwers 10 From environmental sociology to ecosociologies Graham Woodgate 11 From anthropogeography to ethnoecology Eric Navet Part IV - Renewed ecologies 12 Rethinking rural nature in the era of ecocide Owain Jones 13 Urban ecology Isabelle Hajek and Jean-Pierre Levy 14 Nature, environment, health Lionel Charles 15 Sustainable urbanism Philippe Hamman 16 Industrial ecology Nicolas Buclet 17 The ecosystem services paradigm Roldan Muradian Part V - Human-animal 18 Ecocide, ethnocide and civilizations Eric Navet 19 Animal studies Roland Borgards 20 Constructing an animal history Eric Baratay 21 Environmental humanities Sabine Wilke Conclusion: How nature matters Aurelie Chone, Isabelle Hajek and Philippe Hamman