AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series

Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships

Beyond Dualisms, Materialism and Posthumanism

Authors: Kessler, Neil H.

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  • This book makes the case that all environmental problems are intimate and relational in origin
  • Presents a new perspective that challenges the posthumanist solution to human exceptionalism 
  • Moves beyond materialism and human/nature dualisms to a close human-nature relational ontology
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eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-99274-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-99273-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

In Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships, Neil H. Kessler identifies the preconceptions which can keep the modern human mind in the dark about what is happening relationally between humans and the more-than-human world.  He has written an accessible work of environmental philosophy, with a focus on the ontology of human-nature relationships.  In it, he contends that large-scale environmental problems are intimate and relational in origin.  He also challenges the deeply embedded, modernist assumptions about the relational limitations of more-than-human beings, ones which place erroneous limitations on the possibilities for human/more-than-human closeness. Diverging from the posthumanist literature and its frequent reliance on new materialist ontology, the arguments in the book attempt to sweep away what ecofeminists call “human/nature dualisms.  In doing so, conceptual avenues open up that have the power to radically alter how we engage in our daily interactions with the more-than-human world all around us.  

Given the diversity of fields and disciplines focused on the human-nature relationship, the topics of this book vary quite broadly, but always converge at the nexus of what is possible between humans and more-than-human beings.  The discussion interweaves the influence of human/nature dualisms with the limitations of Deleuzian becoming and posthumanism’s new materialism and agential realism.  It leverages interhuman interdependence theory, Charles Peirce’s synechism of feeling and various treatments of Theory of Mind while exploring the influence of human/nature dualisms on sustainability, place attachment, common worlds pedagogy, emergence, and critical animal studies.  It also explores the implications of plant electrical activity, plant intelligence, and plant “neurobiology” for possibilities of relational capacities in plants while even grappling with theories of animism to challenge the animate/inanimate divide.  The result is an engaging, novel treatment of human-nature relational ontology that will encourage the reader to look at the world in a whole new way.

About the authors

Neil H. Kessler is an adjunct professor in the Department of Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire.  He earned his Ph.D. in natural resources, with a focus on environmental philosophy.  He has extensive experience teaching environmental policy, ecology and ethics, particularly in backcountry settings such as the rainforests of Southeast Alaska.  It is in wild places such as this that he honed the ideas for this book.  When he’s not teaching, Neil serves on his town’s Conservation Commission helping craft regulations and promoting nature overall.  

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-99274-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-99273-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships
Book Subtitle
Beyond Dualisms, Materialism and Posthumanism
Authors
Series Title
AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-99274-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-99274-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-99273-0
Series ISSN
2509-9787
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 343
Number of Illustrations
17 b/w illustrations
Topics