The Domination of Nature: New Edition
Published by: McGill-Queen's University Press
Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press
Sales Date: 2023-02-15
Published: February 2023
306 Pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 1.00 in
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In The Domination of Nature William Leiss argues that this global predicament must be understood in terms of deeply rooted attitudes towards nature. He traces the origins, development, and social consequences of an idea whose imprint is everywhere in modern thought: the idea of the domination of nature. In part 1 Leiss traces the idea of the domination of nature from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Francis Bacon’s seminal work provides the pivotal point for this discussion, and through an original interpretation of Bacon’s thought, Leiss shows how momentous ambiguities in the idea were incorporated into modern thought. By the beginning of the twentieth century the concept had become firmly identified with scientific and technological progress. This fact defines the task of part 2. Using important contributions by European sociologists and philosophers, Leiss critically analyzes the role of science and technology in the modern world. In the concluding chapter he puts the idea of mastery over nature into historical perspective and explores a new approach, based on the possibilities of the liberation of nature.
Originally published in 1972, The Domination of Nature was part of the first wave of widespread interest in environmental issues. In a new preface Leiss explores the concept of eco-dominion and the moral obligations of human citizens of the twenty-first century.
"A stimulating new perspective on a matter of considerable academic as well as public concern." T.J. Cartwright, Canadian Journal of Political Science.
"Leiss weaves a complex and frequently scintillating theme that sometimes poses old questions in new ways and also raises new questions that might provoke a measure of lucidity in a discussion now deeply obfuscated." Richard J. Neuhaus, The Annals of the American Academy.