Timothy Morton: Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (2013)

14 October 2013, dusan

“In this book Timothy Morton, an ecologist, literary theorist, and object-oriented philosopher, lures us into a magical night of objects. If things are intrinsically withdrawn, irreducible to their perception or relations or uses, they can only affect each other in a strange region of traces and footprints: the aesthetic dimension. Every object sparkles with absence. Sensual things are elegies to the disappearance of objects. Doesn’t this tell us something about the aesthetic dimension, why philosophers have often found it to be a realm of evil?

Object-oriented ontology (OOO) offers a startlingly fresh way to think about causality that takes into account developments in physics since 1900. Causality, argues OOO, is aesthetic. Morton explores what it means to say that a thing has come into being, that it is persisting, and that it has ended. Drawing from examples in physics, biology, ecology, art, literature and music, he demonstrates the counterintuitive yet elegant explanatory power of OOO for thinking causality.”

Publisher Open Humanities Press, 2013
New Metaphysics series
Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 License
ISBN 9781607852025
228 pages

Review: Nathan Brown (Parrhesia, 2013).



Timothy Morton: The Ecological Thought (2010)

18 September 2010, dusan

“In this book, Timothy Morton argues that all forms of life are connected in a vast, entangling mesh. This interconnectedness penetrates all dimensions of life. No being, construct, or object can exist independently from the ecological entanglement, Morton contends, nor does “Nature” exist as an entity separate from the uglier or more synthetic elements of life. Realizing this interconnectedness is what Morton calls the ecological thought.

In three chapters, Morton investigates the philosophical, political, and aesthetic implications of the fact that all life forms are interconnected. As a work of environmental philosophy and theory, The Ecological Thought explores an awareness of ecological reality in an age of global warming. Using Darwin and contemporary discoveries in life sciences as root texts, Morton describes a mesh of interconnected life forms—intimate, strange, and lacking fixed identity.”

Publisher Harvard University Press, 2010
ISBN 0674049209, 9780674049208
178 pages

Reviews: Gratton (Speculations, response), Coupe (Times Higher Education, response by Bryant), Hengstebeck (specs, 2011), Holmes (Journal of Ecocriticism, 2012), Watson (Interstitial, 2013), Muecke (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2014).

Author’s blog

PDF (updated on 2012-10-31)

Timothy Morton: Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (2007)

18 September 2010, dusan

“In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the “nature” they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all.

Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, Morton explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a vocabulary for reading “environmentality” in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature extends the view of ecological criticism. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a new form of ecological criticism: “dark ecology.””

Publisher Harvard University Press, 2007
ISBN 0674024346, 9780674024342
249 pages

Reviews: Keegan (Studies in Romanticism, 2008), Philips (Oxford Literary Review, 2010), Holmes (Journal of Ecocriticism, 2012).

Author’s blog

PDF (updated on 2012-10-31)