As Karen Warren’s book Ecofeminist Philosophy. () illustrates, a key insight of ecological feminism is captured by the phrase “it’s all connected.” In more. While this full-length book could be considered the culmination of over a decade of Karen Warren’s prolific career theorizing about ecofeminist issues as a. Ecofeminist Philosophy by Karen J. Warren, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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While this full-length book could be considered the culmination of over a decade of Karen Warren’s prolific career theorizing about ecofeminist issues as a professional academic philosopher to other academics, Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters is written to be a “straightforward, nontechnical, but nonetheless philosophical book on ecofeminism,” which is intended to appeal to “undergraduate and graduate students, lay readers, and academics who are interested in contemporary issues in women’s and feminist studies, environmental studies, and environmental philosophy” x.

In this unique work, Warren succeeds in one of the first attempts to render academic ecofeminist philosophy accessible to non-academics. Such a theoretically sophisticated yet layperson-friendly explanation and defense of ecofeminism has not before been quite conceived in this way-even the activist-oriented and much less rigorous essays of the early grassroots ecofeminist movements see, e.

Given that ecofeminism is now largely, though not entirely see the activism of the grassroots group Boston Ecofeminist Action: Ecofeminist Philosophy is divided into nine extensive chapters that address the main questions that phhilosophy newcomer to ecofeminist theory would likely encounter. Warren argues, for example, that “woman” and “nature” should be understood not as fixed, ahistorical concepts contrary to the early essentialist ecofeminist writingsbut rather as socially constructed by an androcentric, anthropocentric culture.

Ecofeminist Philosophy : A Western Perspective on What It is and Why It Matters

One of Warren’s central ecofeminist claims is that understanding the domination of nature will help illuminate the oppression of women, just as understanding gender oppression will shed light on the ways in which nature has been exploited.

Thus, in ecofemknist, it philodophy imperative that environmentalists become feminists and feminists become environmentalists.

Her conception of ecofeminism, however, is not limited to the critique of ecological destruction, nonhuman animal exploitation and gender oppression: She spends the second chapter unpacking this ambitious claim by analyzing ten types of “women-other human Others-nature interconnections” As someone who sees great liberatory potential in the types of comprehensive, cross-disciplinary, intersectional analyses and practices that constitute the many forms of ecofeminism, I kaen myself almost consistently in agreement with many of Warren’s arguments.


There were times, however, when I felt that parts of philosophh project where either underdeveloped or could benefit from additional analyses. For instance, I would have found it valuable to include a more thorough and detailed analysis of the ways in which ecological domination and its ideologies intersect with, and support the oppression of, “other human Others,” especially differently abled people, queer, transgendered, bisexual, lesbian, and gay people, and people of color.

Akren does include, to be sure, a number of incisive and persuasive ecofeminist analyses of racial oppression, but there were only two very brief references to ableism and only phulosophy references to heterosexism with no further investigation of queer issues.

For a theory that seems to have important things to say about all forms of oppression and domination, I was surprised that more attention was not focused on the ways in which the construction of ability and sexuality can be critiqued from an ecofeminist perspective. It would have been useful, for example, to see a detailed ecofeminist analysis of the process ecfoeminist which certain types of bodies and abilities have been normalized and naturalized by an ableist culture see Wendelland how the growing trend to investigate “queer ecologies” might, according to Chris Cuomo, “illuminate particular forms of nature-hating such as those found in fears of anality, menstrual blood, and female body hair” In addition, there were times when ;hilosophy was worried that Warren’s defense of “contextual moral vegetarianism” was argued in a way that did not place sufficient moral responsibility upon those who are physically and materially able to reduce their consumption of animal products.

Introduction to Ecofeminism – Karen J. Warren

I am, like many feminist philosophers, sympathetic kaden Warren’s critique of the problematic aspects of universalistic ethical appeals to vegetarianism based exclusively on either utility see Singer or rights see Regan.

And I think Warren is correct to maintain that a contextual moral vegetarianism for most Westerners should include a desire to avoid “supporting practices that cause unnecessary and avoidable pain and suffering in the killing of animals; as such they should avoid factory-farm produced food. But I am convinced that Warren should have gone a bit farther and stated more explicitly that, for most healthy adults in the West who are privileged enough not to be struggling with starvation and poverty, there are usually few if any compelling moral or dietary-related reasons why one cannot choose to forgo or drastically reduce one’s active contribution to the animal suffering, environmental destruction, worker exploitation, and damage to human health that ecofeminit products of modern, mechanized animal agriculture.


There are, of course, always compelling exceptions that like all ethical decisions are contingent upon the facts of one’s own unique circumstances, but for many, if not most, Westerners in “developed countries,” adopting a vegetarian diet or drastically reducing one’s consumption of animal products are not merely viable, realistic, healthy and affordable options.

Becoming mindful of one’s support of the oppressive practices associated with animal agriculture by striving for a vegetarian lifestyle can also be a daily expression of a care-sensitive, nonviolent ecofeminist ethic that views oneself and human and nonhuman others as morally considerable see Donovan and Adams.

I am nevertheless very impressed by what Warren accomplishes in this remarkable work. She presents the main arguments for ecofeminist philosophy in a readable, interesting way that remains compelling and argumentatively rigorous.

Ecofeminist Philosophy will be a welcomed read for both theorists and activists who are discouraged by and disillusioned with single-issue, single-movement politics and wish to explore the crucial links between the oppression of humans and the domination of the environment.

Warren’s thoughtful analysis of various contemporary ethical issues, for example, of “environmental justice”a new area of activism and study that seeks to demonstrate how the underclass, ecofeminizt underclass children and women of color, are disproportionately harmed by ecological destruction, shows how the insights of ecofeminist philosophy can be employed to enrich and broaden one’s understanding of real-life moral problems and, hopefully, help provide the conceptual resources required to bring about a more sustainable, just and compassionate ecofemiinst.

Diamond, Irene and Gloria Orenstein, eds. The Emergence ecofeminizt Ecofeminism. Sierra Club Books, Donovan, Josephine and Carol J. The Case For Animal Rights. University of California Press, Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability.

Works Cited Cuomo, Chris J.