Radical Ecology

“Radical Ecology,” [PDF], Science & Society, vol. 58, no. 1 (Spring 1994), pp. 120-23. (Review of Carolyn Merchant, Radical Ecology.)

Carolyn Merchant is known principally as the author of two landmark studies in Ecological History and the Ecology and the Scientific Revolution (1980) and Ecological Revolutions: Nature, Gender and Science in New England (1989). In The Death of Nature Merchant provided a devastating critique of the mechanistic world view that originated with 17-century science. The mechanistic scientific outlook of such thinkers as Bacon, Descartes and Locke, she demonstrated, was intrinsically connected to the rise of capitalism, the death of the earlier organic world view, and the growing domination over women. In Ecological Revolutions she developed a general model of the interactions of production, reproduction and consciousness in the context of specific ecological revolutions, exploring in particular the colonial and capitalist ecological revolutions that took place in New England in the 17th through the 19th centuries.

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