The philosopher's plant : an intellectual herbarium /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Marder, Michael, 1980- author.
Imprint:New York : Columbia University Press, 2014.
Description:1 online resource (442 pages) : illustrations
Series:European perspectives. A series in social thought and cultural criticism
European perspectives. A series in social thought and cultural criticism.
Subject:Botany -- Philosophy.
Botany -- History.
Human-plant relationships.
Plants -- Adaptation.
NATURE -- Plants -- General.
SCIENCE -- Life Sciences -- Botany.
NATURE -- Animal Rights.
Botany -- Philosophy.
Human-plant relationships.
Plants -- Adaptation.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Roussel, Mathilde, illustrator.
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:Despite their conceptual allergy to vegetal life, philosophers have used germination, growth, blossoming, fruition, reproduction, and decay as illustrations of abstract concepts; mentioned plants in passing as the natural backdrops for dialogues, letters, and other compositions; spun elaborate allegories out of flowers, trees, and even grass; and recommended appropriate medicinal, dietary, and aesthetic approaches to select species of plants. In this book, Michael Marder illuminates the elaborate vegetal centerpieces and hidden kernels that have powered theoretical discourse for centuries.
Other form:Print version: Marder, Michael. Philosopher's Plant : An Intellectual Herbarium. New York : Columbia University Press, ©2014 9780231169035
Review by Choice Review

Marder (Univ. of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) further buttresses the controversial reflections he previously expressed in his Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (CH, Sep'13, 51-0279). There, he emphasized the nature and ethical significance of learning and growing within the environment of plants. In The Philosopher's Plant, Marder inveighs against Western philosophy's systematic lack of appreciation for the significance of plants in sustaining human life and thought. Even so, he develops a metaphorical and suggestive analysis associating the thought of 12 Western philosophers with 12 different plant varieties. Much of the originality of the work resides in his imaginative concretization of metaphors and allusions in order to reshape readers' philosophical and cultural attitudes toward plant life. Critics of deconstructive philosophical analyses undoubtedly will have difficulty with Marder's metaphorical reifications and conceptual mash-ups. Nevertheless, with these infelicities put aside, his "interactive web of associations" among authors and botanical specimens provides provocative insight into the significance of plant life in the evolution of philosophical thought. The book was imaginatively and insightfully illustrated by the gifted Mathilde Roussel. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Lee C. Archie, Lander University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review