Inhuman Nature: Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet by Nigel Clark

By Nigel Clark

The connection among social concept and earth techniques is an oddly overlooked a part of the social sciences.

This fascinating ebook bargains to make reliable the deficit through exploring how human task and planetary strategies influence upon one another. The book:

• offers a far wanted in-depth inquiry into the risky dating among human existence and the actual earth

• Considers the social and political implications of regularly taking into consideration the earth as a dynamic planet

• Asks what we will be able to research from ordinary catastrophes and from those that have lived via them

• bargains an inter-disciplinary viewpoint bringing jointly insights from sociology, geography, philosophy and earth / lifestyles sciences.

The result's a landmark paintings that would be of curiosity to readers around the social sciences and arts in addition to environmental stories and catastrophe stories.

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Additional info for Inhuman Nature: Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet

Sample text

As we will see when we turn to the recent history of the earth sciences and to developments in continental philosophy, there is more than one way (unsurprisingly) to conceive of the multiplicity and situatedness of nature. Before leaving social and cultural thought, I want to return to Raymond Williams, who is so often cited for his contribution to the end of a certain way of conceiving of nature. A few pages on from his canonical adieu to the ‘great abstraction’ of Nature, Williams called upon his audience ‘(t)o re-emphasize, as a fundamental materialism, the inherent physical conditions – a specific universe, a specific planet, a specific evolution, specific physical lives – from which all labour and all consciousness must take their origins’ (1980: 108).

There were other major components of the outer earth that also called for full consideration. Growing interest in Antarctica, during and after the International Geophysical Year of 1957–8, gradually drew ice – or rather, the ‘cryosphere’ – into full conversation with the other dominions of the whole earth system (Pyne, 1988; Macdougall, 2004). Ice ages had long been considered epochal events in the shaping of the earth’s surface features and in the periodic rebooting of biological succession, but the new glaciology, plumped with polar paleoclimatic data, helped to redefine ice sheets as ‘interesting, dynamic systems, full of feedback mechanisms’ (Pyne, 1988: 287).

Indd 18 02/11/2010 10:33:04 AM The Earth in Physical and Social Thought indefinitely articulated regress of the beginning’ (1981: 333–4). This is still a ground – it remains a source, a subtending, a reservoir of possibilities for later developments. It just doesn’t provide any anchoring, any certainty, any promise of unity. Quite the inverse, a ground that is characterized by an unending ‘textural’ interplay of elements functions as an impetus for further differentiation and change for all those beings or entities that rest upon it.

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