Radical Ecopsychology, Second Edition
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Personal in its style yet radical in its vision, Radical Ecopsychology, Second Edition offers an original introduction to ecopsychology—an emerging field that ties the human mind to the natural world. In order for ecopsychology to be a force for social change, Andy Fisher insists it must become a more comprehensive and critical undertaking. Drawing masterfully from humanistic psychology, hermeneutics, phenomenology, radical ecology, nature writing, and critical theory, he develops a compelling account of how the human psyche still belongs to nature. This daring and innovative book proposes a psychology that will serve all life, providing a solid base not only for ecopsychological practice, but also for a critical theory of modern society. In this second edition, Fisher includes a new preface, a new section looking back at the development of the field since the book's initial publication a decade ago, and a look at the challenges that lie ahead.
Foreword by David Abram
Preface to the Second Edition

Part I. Ground Work

1. The Project of Exopsychology

The Terrain of Ecopsychology
Getting a Handle of the Project
Four Tasks
A Naturalistic and Experimental Approach

2. The Problem with Normal

Discursive Problems
Between the Human and the Natural
In Praise of the Not-So-Normal: The Hermeneutic Dimension
The Symbolic or Metaphorical Nature of Reality and the Discursive Primacy of Rhetoric

Part II. Nature and Experience

3. Beginning with Experience

“Returning to Experience”
Talking About Experience
Experiential Destruction and Ecological Crisis

4. From Humanistic to Naturalistic Psychology

The Irony of Humanistic Psychology
On Nature and Human Nature

5. Naturalistic Psychology: A Sketch

“If We Truly Experience Needs…”
Life as a Hermeneutic Sense-Making Journey
Nature and the Human Life Cycle

Part III. Ecopsychology Today

6. A Decade Later: Still Radical After All These Years

Looking Back, Looking Forward
Situating Ecopsychology: What About Environmental and Conservation Psychology?
Ecopsychology as a Transformation of Psychology
The Ecopsychology Journal and “Second Generation” Ecopsychology
Ecotherapy: The Question of Praxis
Integral Ecology: Agreements and Disagreements
Challenges Ahead




Publié par
Date de parution 27 décembre 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781438444772
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1898€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


SUNY series in Radical Social and Political Theory Roger S. Gottlieb, editor

Radical Ecopsychology, Second Edition
Psychology in the Service of Life
Andy Fisher
Foreword by David Abram

Cover illustration, Moon Howl , compotina print by Martina Field Courtesy of Martina Field
Published by State University of New York Press, Albany
© 2013 State University of New York
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY www.sunypress.edu
Production by Kelli W. LeRoux
Marketing by Fran Keneston
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Fisher, Andy, 1963–
Radical ecopsychology : psychology in the service of life / Andy Fisher ;
foreword by David Abram.—2nd ed.
p. cm.—(Suny series in radical social and political theory)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4384-4476-5 (pbk. : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-1-4384-4475-8
(hardcover : alk. paper)
1. Environmental psychology. 2. Nature—Psychological aspects.
3. Environmentalism—Psychological aspects. I. Title.
BF353.5.N37F57 2012
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For the long haul
In memory of Marnie Fisher
Ever since the Enlightenment, technological civilization has assumed a clear divide between the presumably “exterior” world of material nature and the presumably “interior” world of the mind and emotions. In Europe and North America we have lived with this division for several long centuries, and it has taken a tremendous toll—on ourselves, on our relationships, and on the animate earth around us. Nevertheless, the bifurcation persists: today, for instance, the science of ecology studies the external realm of earthly interactions, while psychology ponders and ministers to the internal realm of our mental life.
As its name implies, ecopsychology (or ecological psychology) neatly explodes this age-old divide between mind and matter, between the psyche “in here” and nature “out there.” Ecopsychology suggests that the psyche cannot really be understood as a distinct dimension isolated from the sensuous world that materially enfolds us, and indeed that earthly nature can no longer be genuinely understood as a conglomeration of objects and objective processes independent of subjectivity and sentience.
The book you now hold is the most important work yet written on ecopsychology from a clinical perspective. As a practicing psychotherapist, Andy Fisher is well acquainted with the manifold stresses and sadnesses that beset contemporary persons, and he has come to believe that a genuine comprehension and amelioration of these ills cannot proceed without a radical metamorphosis in our understanding of the psyche, and a new recognition of the psyche's entanglement with the more-than-human natural world.
Dr. Fisher has read widely and deeply, and he gathers insights from a rich diversity of sources, greatly expanding our awareness of the manifold springs from which ecopsychology can drink and draw sustenance. Yet he tests the reflections of others against his own experience, synthesizing the disparate strands into a uniquely coherent and compassionate vision. His voice is at once poetic and precise, and thus implicitly opens the way for a style of speech unencumbered by obsolete distinctions between subjective and objective modes of discourse.
Among the divergent springs that feed these pages, the most consistent philosophical source is that of phenomenology —the study of direct experience. Developed in the first half of the twentieth century, phenomenology sought to ground its investigations neither in an ostensibly rock-solid external world, nor in the pure and precise ideas of an interior self, but rather in experience —in the ongoing, lived encounter between oneself and the world. As a result of phenomenology's careful attention to direct experience, and its attunement to the deeply embodied nature of such experience, the practice of phenomenology gave birth to existentialism, and to the various streams of existential psychology that grew out of this movement. Gradually, as they pursued their investigations, the more brilliant phenomenologists began to discern that the earth, and the elemental powers of nature, exert a much more profound influence on our human experience than is commonly assumed within the modern era.
Yet in the latter half of the twentieth century this philosophy of experience was eclipsed by a new fascination with language, texts, and the social construction of knowledge. The intellectual discoveries spurred by this new attention to the determinative power of language and of societal structures are many, and they have helped to destabilize, and fluidify, our very modern belief in the unshakable solidity of objective, “external” reality. Yet they have also perpetuated a kind of human arrogance already endemic to the modern era, by implying that human language, and the dynamics of human society, are the real powers that structure the world we experience. It is true, of course, that our particular cultures and languages greatly influence our experience. But it is increasingly evident that our societies and even our languages have themselves been profoundly informed (and dynamically structured) by the diverse terrains, climatic cycles, and biological rhythms of the animate earth—by this more-than-human world with its thunderstorms and forests, its ravens and malarial mosquitoes, its deserts and tumbling rivers and bison-stomped prairies.
In recent years the science of ecology has disclosed the radical interdependence of the manifold organisms that populate, and constitute, this earthly world—including, of course, the human organism. The new awareness of our coevolved embeddedness within the terrestrial web of life inevitably raises the question of whether the human intellect can really spring itself free from our carnal embedment in order to attain to a genuinely objective, or spectatorlike, understanding of nature—or whether, in truth, all our thoughts and our theories are secretly dependent on, and constrained by, our immersion in this earthly world, with its specific gravity and atmosphere, its particular landscapes, its myriad plants and animals, so many of whom are now threatened with extinction.
The latter intuition is that which motivates the emerging field of ecopsychology. Yet if ecopsychology is to pursue this intuition, it is in need of a much more humble way of speaking than that which prevails in the conventional sciences—a new style of speech and of thought that honors the dependence not only of our bodies but our minds on the more-than-human natural world. Such, in fact, is the poetic language that was gradually being developed by various phenomenologists at midcentury—and so it is only natural that the new field of ecopsychology would begin to resuscitate and carry forward the rich work done by some of those thinkers. Indeed, Andy Fisher makes careful use of such phenomenologists as Martin Heidegger, J. H. Van Den Berg, and especially the brilliant French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as a number of their more recent followers.
Fisher has also learned from hermeneutics, from psychoanalysis and Gestalt psychotherapy, and from some of our best wilderness writers, as well as from the unique and prescient reflections of Paul Shepard—the maverick “human ecologist” whose audacious writings, so little known, have nevertheless influenced so many environmental theorists. Yet Fisher brings to these various thinkers a keen social and political awareness rarely present among those who write on behalf of the natural world. His own turn toward the animate earth is not at all a turn away from the social and economic relations that so influence our psychological life; rather, his work suggests that our widespread social injustices can no longer be understood without taking into account the unnecessary violence inflicted on the rest of nature by a society impervious to all that stands in the way of “progress.” Fisher implies that the many-voiced earth is the ultimate context of our social as well as our psychological experience. His Radical Ecopsychology calls us toward active engagement in a transformation of society no less profound than the transformation of personal life that he invokes, and makes clear that these two projects cannot genuinely be separated.
Both political and deeply personal, stirring us both ethically and aesthetically, Andy Fisher's vision enlivens the young field of ecopsychology. With any luck, his book will infect the wider (and all-too-complacent) discipline of psychology, inducing more than a few therapists to throw open the windows of their consulting room, letting a wild wind rush in to jostle their papers and to join in the conversation.
—David Abram
I am grateful to SUNY Press for the opportunity to update Radical Ecopsychology by way of this second edition. The main change is a new chapter in which I examine various ecopsychology-related developments from the last decade in light of the aims of this book, and comment on how I see the project today. Although this seventh chapter uses ideas and language from the original six, it stands alone to some degree as a statement on the current status of ecopsychology. Readers may, then, wish to start there.
A number of people have kindly shared with me that Radical Ecopsychology was an important book for them. I hope the addition of the new chapter makes it more helpful still.
This book is both an introduction to e

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