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Inhuman Nature
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Inhuman Nature
Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet



© 2011 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The relationship between social thought and earth processes is in its infancy. It is an oddly neglected part of the social sciences.

This exciting book, Inhuman Nature, offers to make good the defect by exploring how human induced changes impact upon planetary process. The book:

  • Provides a much needed in-depth inquiry into the volatile relationship between human life and the physical earth

  • Considers the social and political implications of consistently thinking of the earth as a dynamic planet

  • Asks what we can learn from natural catastrophes

  • Brings together an inter-disciplinary perspective using data from Sociology, Political Science, Philosophy and Earth / Life Sciences

The result is a landmark work that will be of interest to readers across the Social Sciences and Humanities as well as Geography and Environmental Studies.

 
Introduction
 
The Earth in Physical and Social Thought
 
Ways to Make a World: From Relational Materiality to Radical Asymmetry
 
After the Tsunami: Vulnerability on a Volatile Planet
 
Quaking: The 1755 Lisbon Disaster and the Modern Subject
 
Justice and Abrupt Climate Change
 
Hurricane Katrina and the Origins of Community
 
'Burning for the Other': Colonial Encounters on a Planet of Fire
 
Extending Hospitality: Global Mobility and Journeys in Deep Time

Drawing on an impressive array of philosophical, social, and natural science sources Nigel Clark's magnificent Inhuman Nature provides a compelling account of the respects in which modern ways of living are perpetually exposed to unpredictable natural processes and transformations and the manner in which communities have responded with care and hospitality to the desperate plight of others
Barry Smart
Professor of Sociology, Portmouth University


Inhuman Nature: Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet is a watershed for social theory. Nigel Clark’s engaging book brings together earth systems science, philosophy, and history to challenge the longstanding impasse created through the philosophical separation of humans from the world. This book does not simply ‘take nature into account’: fires, floods, volcanoes, climate change, and hurricanes take centre-stage in this thorough re-writing of the organic and inorganic. Inhuman Nature asks the most important questions of our time, and is a must-read for anyone who takes nature and our future on this planet seriously
Myra Hird
Professor of Sociology, Queen’s University Canada


This is possibly one of the most important books you are ever likely to read, particularly if you have been duped into thinking ‘nature’ and ‘planet earth’ are merely benevolent forces at the mercy of an insane, disordered humanity. According to Clark this just-so story illustrates our twin bad habits of focussing almost exclusively on human powers (exaggerating them wildly) and developing a blindness to the agency and powers of non-humans. This book reveals what the world is like when we come to our senses, literally. You wont look back (the view is better)
Adrian Franklin
Professor of Sociology, University of Tasmania


Nigel Clark offers in this book a unique position, and radical, on the links between human and non-human to question the contemporary "environmental crisis". The ambitious question the author asks is: How to live with others and things in this context of profound insecurity? ...Above all, this book is incredibly stimulating.

Séverine Durand, Université de Grenoble- UMR Pacte
Journal Revue d'Anthropologie des Connaissances

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: The Earth in Physical and Social Thought


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ISBN: 9780761957249
$126.00

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.