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The New Ecological Order [Paperback]

Luc Ferry
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 Sep 1995
Is ecology in the process of becoming the object of our contemporary passions, in the same way that Fascism was in the 30s, or Communism under Stalin? In The New Ecological Order, Luc Ferry offers a penetrating critique of the ideological roots of the "Deep Ecology" movement spreading throughout Germany, France, and the United States. Traditional ecological movements, or "democratic ecology" seek to protect the environment of human societies; they are pragmatic and reformist. But another movement has become the refuge both of nostalgic counterrevolutionaries and of leftist illusions. This is "deep ecology" Its followers go beyond practical critiques of human greed and waste: they call into question the very possibility of human coexistence with nature. The human species is no longer at the center of the world, but subject to a new god called Nature. For these purists, man can only soil the harmony of the universe. In order to secure natural equilibrium, the only solution is to grant rights to animals, to trees, and to rocks. Ferry launches his critique by examining early European legal cases concerning the status and rights of animals, including a few notorious cases where animals were brought to trial, found guilty, and publicly hanged. He then demonstrates that German Romanticism embraced certain key ideas of the deep ecology movement concerning the protection of animals and the environment. Later adopted by the Nazis, many of these ideas point to a profoundly antihumanistic component of deep ecology that is compatible with totalitarianism. Ferry shows how deep ecology casts aside all the gains of human autonomy since the Enlightenment. He deciphers the philosophical and political assumptions of a movement that threatens to infantalize human society by preying on the fear of the authority of a new theological-political order. Far from denying our "duty in relation to nature"

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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 2nd edition (14 Sep 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226244830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226244839
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,286,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Aristotle or Descartes? I sometimes wonder which of the two would meet with greater disfavor in the eyes of our contemporaries should they happen to take it upon themselves to read them. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luc Ferry's Polemics 16 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Luc Ferry raises some very important and pressing questions about the implied praxis behind deep ecology. Does the vision of society espoused by deep ecology depend on an authoritarian social structure? Does deep ecology demand a level of political correctness which places its premises beyond question? Ferry is not the first to raise these questions. The Institute for Social Ecology, led by Murray Bookchin, has made the critique of deep ecology its bread and butter. Of course, there are plenty of ideologues within radical ecology, but they do not make up the whole story. Particularly glaring is Ferry's one-sided depiction of eco-feminism. In fact, some eco-feminist work in the U.S. has been particularly sharp at questioning the orthodoxies of both radical ecology and feminism. The questions which occupy Ferry should be asked by every person who is involved in radical ecology, and many of his criticisms are on-target for a specific body of work. But he doesn't bother to see the whole picture, and readers should be careful to read beyond the quotes cited by Ferry and to study deep ecology and ecofeminism on their own terms.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Luc Ferry's Polemics 16 Dec 1997
By daseidenberg@jtsa.edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Luc Ferry raises some very important and pressing questions about the implied praxis behind deep ecology. Does the vision of society espoused by deep ecology depend on an authoritarian social structure? Does deep ecology demand a level of political correctness which places its premises beyond question? Ferry is not the first to raise these questions. The Institute for Social Ecology, led by Murray Bookchin, has made the critique of deep ecology its bread and butter. Of course, there are plenty of ideologues within radical ecology, but they do not make up the whole story. Particularly glaring is Ferry's one-sided depiction of eco-feminism. In fact, some eco-feminist work in the U.S. has been particularly sharp at questioning the orthodoxies of both radical ecology and feminism. The questions which occupy Ferry should be asked by every person who is involved in radical ecology, and many of his criticisms are on-target for a specific body of work. But he doesn't bother to see the whole picture, and readers should be careful to read beyond the quotes cited by Ferry and to study deep ecology and ecofeminism on their own terms.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and moderate defense of democratic humanism. 29 Dec 2003
By John H. Teeple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
...Ferry sees deep ecology (or what Americans would call deep ecology) as fundamentally at odds with democracy. Essentially, we may read his critique as claiming that, while democracy incorporates an open-ended dialogue over the good, deep ecology promotes a singular vision of what is good. Deep ecology is biocentric, placing humankind squarely in the midst of nature; democracy, in contrast, is humanistic. Deep ecology promotes a dissolution of the subject; democracy places the subject at its core.
In exploring the tension between deep ecology and democracy (but not, it should be noted, between environmentalism as such), Ferry draws on a few well-illustrated examples, including case studies of Medieval trials of animals, developments in German Romanticism, and Nazi ideology. The chapters on Nazism are especially interesting - although it is made clear that deep ecology is not a form of fascism; only that there are certain paralles in how each addresses the question of democracy and modernity.
The book is well-written and well-argued. In contrast to the stereotypical French philosopher (at least as many Americans have been exposed to French philosophy), Ferry's writing is elegant and clear, and he avoids obfuscation. I have used portions of this book in introductory classes, and plan to assign it in an upcoming undergraduate seminar.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate yet misleading 30 Aug 2001
By David Keppel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an astute critique of some of the naive and even undemocratic tendencies in Deep Ecology. But it is unfair to associate Deep Ecology with fascism without pointing out that fascism has other political heirs far more powerful than any ecologist.
The book leaves you feeling the author prefers needling theories to grappling with the ecological crisis in its true depth. This can't be done from the calculative, rationalist basis he finds comfortable. If Deep Ecology needs a new basis, Ferry gives few clues what that might be and settles instead for enlightened smugness.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarifying ecology 1 Jan 2013
By F. G. Nobrega - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The philosopher Luc Ferry did a wonderful job analysing what lies behind the three ecologies that carry the environmental banners nowadays. I face the distorted vision of some radical environmentalists while doing committee work and learned tremendously by reading this really amazing and well researched book. The interesting links between the "deep ecology" and Hitler initiatives are illuminating. It is noteworthy that, as Michael Crichton pointed out, the fake genetic crisis of eugenics that dominated the 20th century until the holocaust laid bare its rotten anti-human excesses was at its height during nazism that at the time was breeding the deep ecology movement. Now the heirs of the genetic pseudo-crisis are creating the "save the planet" equally false crisis. Luc Ferry calls for a democratic and science-based ecology.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study in Anti-Humanism 14 Aug 2006
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book deals with one of the most important issues facing modern man: the threat posed to humanism by various so-called progressive movements. This is part of Ferry's ongoing project to expose the illiberal consequences of what is regularly called post-modernity. (See his book on the Sixties as an essay on anti-humanism, and his statement on why he is not a Nietzschean). Some of the practical issues discussed are the crucial distinctions between conservation and radical environmentalism; between anti-cruelty and animal rights. The link between fascism in its most anti-humanist incarnation (Nazism) and "animal rights" should be studied - once animals have the rights of man, man is placed on par with animals. It is no coincidence those carted off to Auschwitz and the eastern camps were sent in cattle cars. These chapters on Nazi animal rights legislation, and the other progressive initiatives of that regime, is fascinating and important especially in light of contemporary European tendencies like the great ape project, support for euthanasia and other progressive ideas - like smoking bans. This is one of the best popular books around to explain the formal and theoretical connection between these seemingly unrelated ideas.
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