- In my view, ecocriticism needs a foundation in something akin to metaphysics. This work in progress began as an effort to find such a foundation. In the course of working on it, I discovered philosophers today, mostly young, clearly a new generation, philosophizing under the umbrella term “speculative realism” what amounts to a new metaphysics, even when the term “metaphysics” is not embraced. That discovery led me to put this work aside to study this new philosophy, a decision that has evolved into a book length project assessing this new metaphysics. When that is done I will be better prepared to ground ecocriticism in metaphysics. Material from this work in progress will be relevant but will no doubt have to be recast in radically different form.
Parts of chapters 1 and 4 have been published in revised form (see “The Theory Ecocriticism Needs” and “Geocentric Ecocriticism” at academia.edu).
- An introductory overview of chapters 2-4, chapter 1 centers on differences between Neil Evernden’s The Social Creation of Nature and Bruno Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern. Evernden seeks a nature independent of cultural and institutional mediations, whereas for Latour escaping these mediations is impossible. Chapter 2 elaborates on Evernden’s ecocritical strategy by comparing and contrasting it with Lawrence Buell’s, particularly Buell’s ideas of the “fallacy of derealization” and “extrospection.” Chapter 3 elaborates on Latour, particularly his theory of hybrids, concluding with an evaluation of his “parliament of things.” Chapter 4 then reconciles the two within a framework large enough to incorporate both. This framework revises Spinoza’s monism, cleansing it of its cosmocentric tendencies in the name of geocentricism.
In these chapters (pp. 21, 32n8, 53 54, 58, 81, 94) promises appear that at the time of their writing were envisioned as appearing in later chapters.