Nature Western Attitudes since Ancient Times

ISBN-10: 0520244788
ISBN-13: 9780520244788
Edition: 2005
Authors: Peter Coates
List price: $28.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: In an advertisement for water filter cartridges, we see a tumbling waterfall. The caption reads, "Like nature, Brita is beautifully simple." What kind of thinking is this? Is nature an objective reality that, in its beautiful simplicity, is  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 12/20/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

In an advertisement for water filter cartridges, we see a tumbling waterfall. The caption reads, "Like nature, Brita is beautifully simple." What kind of thinking is this? Is nature an objective reality that, in its beautiful simplicity, is unaffected by time, culture, and place? The wordnatureitself: what do we actually mean by it? These are some of the riveting questions examined by Peter Coates as he demonstrates that nature, like us, has a history of its own. Beginning with Roman times, Coates investigates the ideological and material factors that have influenced human perceptions of, attitudes toward, and uses of nature--notably religion and ethics, science, technology, economics, gender, and ethnicity. Nature is seen among its rich panoply of meanings as a physical place, as the collective phenomena of the world, as an essence or principle that informs the workings of the world, as an inspiration and guide for people and a source of authority governing human affairs, and as the conceptual opposite of culture. By examining these aspects of nature, Coates leads us on a spectacular tour of the central intellectual forces of Western civilization. The book is essential reading for those who seek an understanding of the history of ideas and the role of nature in that history.

Peter Coates is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol.

Preface
The Natures of Nature
Ancient Greece and Rome
The Middle Ages
The Advent of Modernity
The World Beyond Europe
Nature as Landscape
Reassessments of Nature: Romantic and Ecological
The Disunited Colours of Nature
The Future of Nature
Notes
Index

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