Michael Marder

Michael Marder is a philosopher who teaches at the University of the Basque Country. His past books include Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life and The Philosopher's Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium.

  • Vegetal Entwinements in Philosophy and Art

    A Reader

    Giovanni Aloi and Michael Marder

    The first reader in critical plant studies, exploring a rapidly growing multidisciplinary field—the intersection of philosophy with plant science and the visual arts.

    In recent years, philosophy and art have testified to how anthropocentrism has culturally impoverished our world, leading to the wide destruction of habitats and ecosystems. In this book, Giovanni Aloi and Michael Marder show that the field of critical plant studies can make an important contribution, offering a slew of possibilities for scientific research, local traditions, Indigenous knowledge, history, geography, anthropology, philosophy, and aesthetics to intersect, inform one another, and lead interdisciplinary and transcultural dialogues.

    Vegetal Entwinements in Philosophy and Art considers such topics as the presence of plants in the history of philosophy, the shifting status of plants in various traditions, what it means to make art with growing life-forms, and whether or not plants have moral standing. In an experimental vegetal arrangement, the reader presents some of the most influential writing on plants, philosophy, and the arts, together with provocative new contributions, as well as interviews with groundbreaking contemporary artists whose work has greatly enhanced our appreciation of vegetal being.

    • Hardcover $65.00
  • The Phoenix Complex

    A Philosophy of Nature

    Michael Marder

    An innovative, wide-ranging consideration of the global ecological crisis and its deep philosophical and theological roots.

    Global crises, from melting Arctic ice to ecosystem collapse and the sixth mass extinction, challenge our age-old belief in nature as a phoenix with an infinite ability to regenerate itself from the ashes of destruction. Moving from antiquity to the present and back, Michael Marder provides an integrated examination of philosophies of nature drawn from traditions around the world to illuminate the theological, mythical, and philosophical origins of the contemporary environmental emergency. From there, he probes the contradictions and deadlocks of our current predicament to propose a philosophy of nature for the twenty-first century.

    As Marder analyzes our reliance on the image and idea of the phoenix to organize our thoughts about the natural world, he outlines the obstacles in the path of formulating a revitalized philosophy of nature. His critical exposition of the phoenix complex draws on Chinese, Indian, Russian, European, and North African traditions. Throughout, Marder lets the figure of the phoenix guide readers through theories of immortality, intergenerational and interspecies relations, infinity compatible with finitude, resurrection, reincarnation, and a possibility of liberation from cycles of rebirth. His concluding thoughts on a phoenix-suffused philosophy of nature and political thought extend from the Roman era to the writings of Hannah Arendt.

    • Paperback $45.00
  • Philosophy for Passengers

    Philosophy for Passengers

    Michael Marder

    A philosophical guide to passengerhood, with reflections on time, space, existence, boredom, our sense of self, and our sense of the senses.

    While there are entire bookstore sections—and even entire bookstores—devoted to travel, there have been few books on the universal experience of being a passenger. With this book, philosopher Michael Marder fills the gap, offering a philosophical guide to passengerhood. He takes readers from ticketing and preboarding (preface and introduction) through a series of stops and detours (reflections on topics including time, space, existence, boredom, our sense of self, and our sense of the senses), to destination and disembarking (conclusion).

    Marder finds that the experience of passengers in the twenty-first century is experience itself, stretching well beyond railroad tracks and airplane flight patterns. On his journey through passengerhood, he considers, among many other things, passenger togetherness, which goes hand in hand with passenger loneliness; flyover country and the idea of placeness; and Descartes in an airplane seat. He tells us that the word metaphor means transport in Greek and discusses the gray area between literalness and metaphoricity; explains the connection between reading and riding; and ponders the difference between destination and destiny. Finally, a Beckettian disembarking: you might not be able to disembark, yet you must disembark. After the voyage in the world ends, the journey of understanding begins.

    • Paperback $15.95