The Promethean Illusion
The Western Belief in Human Mastery of Nature
About the Book
This book explores two contradictory realities: our continuing belief that nature is subject to our willful control and nature’s refusal to abide by this belief. It investigates particular aspects of modern science and spotlights the impact Newtonian science had upon the Western world. It then critically assesses twentieth century developments in science, presenting a number of biological and ecological case studies that document the various limitations that the natural world places upon human knowledge. The analysis argues against programmatic proposals to control nature via genetic engineering and planet management.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
About the Author(s)
Bob Tostevin, who received his doctorate in political theory at York University in Toronto, teaches history at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
Table of Contents
1. Mastery in the Making 13
2. Authorizing Human Dominion 33
3. Ironies of Scientific Progress 58
4. Science in the Land of Sometimes and Perhaps 89
5. Elusive Elements of Organic Change 116
6. Ecological Detective Stories 149
7. Planetary Thinking 174
Conclusion: Rethinking Our Being with Nature 207