Rampaging Rationalism. "Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason" by Val Plumwood. [review]
Literature Studies Australia and New Zealand (420202)
Janna Thompson, philosophy, feminism, ecology, environmentalism, Green, Frankfurt School, instrumentality rationality, economic rationalism, globalisation, technoscience, liberal democracy, ecological planning, commodification, Tasmania, fairy penguins, environmentalists, capitalist, free market, social revolution, democracy, socialism, anarchism, animal liberation, anthropomorphic, Immanuel Kant, communicative ethics
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AbstractVal Plumwood, the author of a highly praised defence of eco-feminism, "Feminism and the Mastery of Nature", presents in this book a critique of 'rationalist culture' and explains why it harms nature as well as so many people. Plumwood’s criticism of rationalism centres on the thesis she advanced in her earlier book. From Plato onward, it has been regarded as rational to divide the world into polarised and homogeneous conceptual categories (reason/emotion, culture/nature, spirit/matter, masculine/feminine) and to regard things falling under the first term of these dichotomies as superior to those belonging to the second. This way of thinking, Plumwood argues, has given rationalists a licence to ignore the needs of beings deemed to be inferior - to dominate and exploit them for the sake of their 'superiors'. In particular, it has been used to justify the domination of nature and of women.
Australia Council, La Trobe University, National Library of Australia, Holding Redlich, Arts Victoria
Thompson, Janna 2003. Rampaging Rationalism. Review of "Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason" by Val Plumwood. 'Australian Book Review', No 251, May, 58.