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Plants in Place: A Phenomenology of the Vegetal (Critical Life Studies)

Plants in Place: A Phenomenology of the Vegetal (Critical Life Studies)

Current price: $26.00
Publication Date: December 26th, 2023
Columbia University Press
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Plants are commonly considered immobile, in contrast to humans and other animals. But vegetal existence involves many place-based forms of change: stems growing upward, roots spreading outward, fronds unfurling in response to sunlight, seeds traveling across wide distances, and other intricate relationships with the surrounding world. How do plants as sessile, growing, decaying, and metamorphosing beings shape the places they inhabit, and how are they shaped by them? How do human places interact with those of plants--in lived experience; in landscape painting; in cultivation and contemplation; in forests, fields, gardens, and cities?

Examining these questions and many more, Plants in Place is a collaborative study of vegetal phenomenology at the intersection of Edward S. Casey's phenomenology of place and Michael Marder's plant-thinking. It focuses on both the microlevel of the dynamic constitution of plant edges or a child's engagement with moss and the macrolevel of habitats that include the sociality of trees. This compelling portrait of plants and their places provides readers with new ways to appreciate the complexity and vitality of vegetal life. Eloquent, descriptively rich, and insightful, the book also shows how the worlds of plants can enhance our understanding and experience of place more broadly.

About the Author

Edward S. Casey is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His many books include, most recently, Turning Emotion Inside Out: Affective Life Beyond the Subject (2021) and The World on Edge (2017). Michael Marder is IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Spain. His previous Columbia University Press books include Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts (2019) and Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (2013).