Review of 'Being Ecological' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

"Being Ecological" by Timothy Morton is not what you are expecting. In fact, there is very little about the environment, climate change, global warming, and the like. No data. No facts. Instead, the book is a playful excursion into Morton's unique philosophical worldview that might just give us a new way to relate to our environments. Many of his ideas are highly counter-intuitive and I don't think you'll leave the book unchanged. In fact, he says once you learn his ideas, you can't unlearn them and you will see the world in a completely different way. You get the a basic introduction into Morton's big ideas and orientations. It is a quick read but it is one that you want to take your time through because you want to follow along with his discourses. His philosophy - the foundation is a developing school of thought called "object oriented ontology" - draws heavily from phenomenology (Kant, Heidegger) and aesthetics (theories of art). It calls upon us to embrace ambiguity and complexity and to break down the artificial distinction between subject and object. The world he presents is inherently messy, complicated, and strange. He questions most of the orthodoxies surrounding environmentalism and ecological thinking by arguing that they all remain rooted in certain assumptions developed during the agricultural revolution. Unlike many environmental writers, he is not gloomy nor is he overly saccharine. What I liked about the book was his sense of creativity and playfulness. Definitely recommended.