Wednesday, April 16, 2014


"Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life" is an ontology of vegetal life, advocating a view of plants not as individual entities but as "a collective being" worthy of consideration. It deconstructs the mechanical metaphysics rigidly confining non-human life to narrow definitions.

Whether it be a satire on post-structuralist philosophy or a serious dialectic on the nature of plants, this is a thought-provoking analysis of how we think of plants, regardless of their cognizance.

Re-thinking our understanding of plants, of course, begs the ethical question of whether it is right to consume them, to which the author replies:

"If you wish to eat ethically, eat like a plant! Eating like a plant does not entail consuming only inorganic minerals but welcoming the other, forming a rhizome with it, and turning oneself into the passage for the other without violating or dominating it, without endeavoring to swallow up its very otherness in one's corporeal and psychic interiority."

A Philosophy of Vegetal Life
by Michael Marder
Columbia University Press, 2013

Artwork: Girl Studying Plant Life
Science Writing
Outrider Reading Group

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