Eco-Deconstruction marks a new approach to the degradation of the natural environment, including habitat loss, species extinction, and climate change. While the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), with its relentless interrogation of the anthropocentric metaphysics of presence, has already proven highly influential in posthumanism and animal studies, the present volume, drawing on published and unpublished work by Derrida and others, builds on these insights to address the most pressing environmental issues of our time.
The volume brings together fifteen prominent scholars, from a wide variety of related fields, including eco-phenomenology, eco-hermeneutics, new materialism, posthumanism, animal studies, vegetal philosophy, science and technology studies, environmental humanities, eco-criticism, earth art and aesthetics, and analytic environmental ethics. Overall, eco-deconstruction offers an account of differential relationality explored in a non-totalizable ecological context that addresses our times in both an ontological and a normative register.
The book is divided into four sections. “Diagnosing the Present” suggests that our times are marked by a facile, flattened-out understanding of time and thus in need of deconstructive dispositions. “Ecologies” mobilizes the spectral ontology of deconstruction to argue for an originary environmentality, the constitutive ecological embeddedness of mortal life. “Nuclear and Other Biodegradabilities,” examines remains, including such by-products and disintegrations of human culture as nuclear waste, environmental destruction, and species extinctions. “Environmental Ethics” seeks to uncover a demand for justice, including human responsibility for suffering beings, that emerges precisely as a response to original differentiation and the mortality and unmasterable alterity it installs in living beings. As such, the book will resonate with readers not only of philosophy, but across the humanities and the social and natural sciences.
Matthias Fritsch (Edited By)
Matthias Fritsch is Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Montréal. He is the author of The Promise of Memory: History and Politics in Marx, Benjamin, and Derrida and Taking Turns with Earth: Ways to Intergenerational Justice through Phenomenology and Deconstruction and co-translator of Heidegger’s The Phenomenology of Religious Life.
Philippe Lynes (Edited By)
Philippe Lynes is Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair in Environmental Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the translator of Derrida’s Advances.
David Wood (Edited By)
David Wood is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is Deep Time, Dark Times: On Being Geologically Human.
“In 1998, Derrida hailed ecology as a 'new dimension of ‘living together.’ Almost twenty years later, ecology is nothing new: It even risks having overtaken itself in the sense of no longer marking any specific domain. It is clear that ecology traverses all spheres of all existences. The eco-deconstruction undertaken in this volume means both an ecology of deconstruction (What is a disseminated oikos? a differing-deferring one? a prosthetic one?) and also a deconstruction of ecology, thus of economy, ecopolitics, ecomythics, and ecosophy.“
“Derrida’s last seminars proved inspirational for the burgeoning field of animal studies, but the ecological tenor and wide-ranging environmental implications of his deconstructive approach has received much less attention. This timely, original, and extraordinarily innovative collection of essays by many of the key thinkers in the field does much to rectify this. It will be an invaluable reference point for all those interested in the intersection of continental philosophy, literary criticism, posthumanism, and environmental concerns.“
“Ecology, in its semantic disposition, relates the oikos to the logos, two concepts that Derrida never stopped analyzing. Eco-Deconstruction affirms that in rich, diverse, and inventive ways, and repositions the now extensive work on Derrida and the animal within a broader context of planetary viability. Quite simply, the stellar contributions of this volume manifest a deconstruction that welcomes a whole new environmental space.“
“A terrific collection of essays penned by a stellar group of scholars, Eco-Deconstruction definitively demonstrates the continued relevance of deconstruction in our era of ecological disaster. More than a decade after Derrida’s death, Eco-Deconstruction incisively shows us how the tools and concepts central to deconstruction are likewise crucial for thinking about today’s pressing environmental problems (nature, life, animals, sustainability, the world, extinction, ecology). No mere echo chamber of agreement, Eco-Deconstruction likewise shows us where deconstruction can be helpfully supplemented with other approaches going forward into an uncertain ecological future. This is essential reading for anyone interested in environmental philosophy.“