Murray Bookchin/Left Heiddeger Scholar on "Deep Ecology"

Michael Pugliese debsian at
Thu Dec 16 01:33:03 MST 1999

Philip Ferguson wrote:
> Didn't Bookchin also write a quite good book a few years ago attacking the
> rise of irrationalism, in which he included a number of things taken for
> granted by quite a lot of lefties, not least of all many anarchists.
      Good read, though Bookchin can take polemical license.

 Re-Enchanting Humanity: A Defense of the Human Spirit against
Anti-Humanism, Misanthropy, Mysticism, and Primitivism
Murray Bookchin

 Table of Contents
 A caveat to the reader
 Prologue 1
1 Becoming human 8
2 From 'selfish genes' to Mother 'Gaia' 35
3 The new Malthusians 59
4 From ecomysticism to angelology 86
5 The myth of the primitive 120
6 Technophobia and its tribulations 148
7 Postmodernist nihilism 172
8 Science and anti-science: anything goes 205
9 Re-enchanting humanity 228
 Epilogue 258
 Index 261

Another source to rebut "Deep Ecology" by
left Heiddeger scholar is the book by Michael Zimmerman entitled,
"Contesting Earth's Future: Radical Ecology and Postmodernity

Paperback, 464pp.
ISBN: 0520209079
Publisher: University of California Press
Pub. Date: April  1997
>From The Publisher
The book provides a much-needed balanced appraisal of radical ecology's
principles, goals, and limitations. Michael Zimmerman not only critically
examines the movement's three major branches: deep ecology, social ecology,
and ecofeminism. He also situates radical ecology within the complex
cultural and political terrain of the late twentieth century, showing its
relation to Martin Heidegger's anti-technological thought, the
counterculturalism of the 1960s, and contemporary theories of
poststructuralism and postmodernism.

>From Kenneth Anderson - The Times Literary Supplement
Zimmerman is a philosopher as well as a long-time participant in the
conceptual arguments over ecology. . . . {His} book is that infrequent
combinationof an insider's vast knowledge of these debates, a teacher's
ability to make them coherent to the non-specialist, and a passionate
commitment to them that is none the less never overpowering. . . . {It}
succeeds both in undertaking genuinely interesting philosophy and in
engaging radical ecology on its own terms. . . . In the end, however, I am
persuaded that Zimmerman's project is not really about postmodernism and not
really even a defence of radical ecology. .. . Postmodernism, for Zimmerman,
is merely a step along the road to a commitment to progress: he is finally a
modernist, not a postmodernist, and, far from aiming to defend radical
ecology, he seeks to domesticate it to the service of proper
'progressivism'. I am sceptical of this 'progress'.

>From Erik Davis - Voice Literary Supplement
Unusually open-minded and even-handed, Zimmerman synthesizes conflicting
perspectives without fudging their real differences. What he gives us is
lessan argument than an elegant superimposition of deep ecology and
poststructuralism, anarchic tribalism and chaos theory, Buddhism and
Heidegger and the manystripes of ecofeminism. Though Zimmerman's not the
juiciest writer, and his constant flip-flop from one hand to the other can
wear a person down, I doubt there's a more kaleidoscopic overview of
ecological debate than Contesting Earth's Future. . . . Particularly
insightful and refreshing is Zimmerman's treatment of what has become a
chestnut: that the links among Nazism, nature religion, and Heidegger prove
the fascism of radical ecological views. . . . Though Zimmerman directly
confronts the more authoritarian deep ecologists, he shows that nature
mysticism--including that of German romanticism--is not intrinsically

>From Roger S. Gottlieb - Ethics
{This is an} intelligent and original book. . . . A reader new to
environmental philosophy will find this book to be a comprehensive survey. .
. . Despite my admiration and enjoyment of this book, I did find some parts
of it unsatisfying. While the prose is generally clear, at times the drift
of the discussion is not. Zimmerman's stated (and admirable) intention of ex
hibiting the full complexity of debates in this area is at times carried to
an extreme. . .. In a book on radical ecology, it seems odd that there is no
significant discussion of ecological varieties of Marxism. . . . Finally,
while I admire Zimmerman's open-mindedness and range of resources, I would
have liked a more critical assessment of the different types of assertions
made by the theorists he presents. . . . It is a mark of Zimmerman's
intellectual maturity--one might say wisdom--that the book's comprehensive
intellectual sweep is accompanied by a refusal to fully embrace any
particular variant of radical ecology as answering the dilemmas of earth's

Table of Contents
 Introduction 1
1 Deep Ecology's Wider Identification with Nature 19
2 Deep Ecology and Counterculturalism 57
3 Deep Ecology, Heidegger, and Postmodern Theory 91
4 Social Ecology and Its Critique of Deep Ecology 150
5 Radical Ecology, Transpersonal Psychology, and the Evolution of
Consciousness 184
6 Ecofeminism's Critique of the Patriarchal Domination of Woman and Nature
7 Ecofeminism and Deep Ecology 276
8 Chaos Theory, Ecological Sensibility, and Cyborgism 318
 Notes 379
 Index 437

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