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The illusory boundary : environment and technology in history / edited by Martin Reuss and Stephen H. Cutcliffe.

Contributor(s): Reuss, Martin | Cutcliffe, Stephen H.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Charlottesville, VA ; London : University of Virginia Press, c2010Description: ix, 318 p. : ill., facsim., maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780813929880 (cloth : alk. paper); 0813929881 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780813929897 (pbk. : alk. paper); 081392989X (pbk. : alk. paper); 9780813930534 (e-book); 0813930537 (e-book).Subject(s): Technology -- Social aspects -- History | Technology -- Environmental aspects -- History | Environmental protection | Technology and civilization | Human ecology -- Social aspectsDDC classification: Other classification: 50.01 | 43.01
Contents:
Understanding the place of humans in nature / James C. Williams -- Our bodies and our histories of technology and the environment / Joy Parr -- Can nature improve technology? / Peter Coates -- The nature of industrialization / Sara B. Pritchard and Thomas Zeller -- Is there a Chinese view of technology and nature? / Peter C. Perdue -- Out west in places and spaces / William D. Rowley -- The city as an artifact of technology and the environment / Joel A. Tarr -- Waste and pollution : changing views and environmental consequences / Craig E. Colten -- Are tomatoes natural? / Ann Vileisis -- Can organisms be technology? / Edmund Russell -- Where does nature end and culture begin? Converging themes in the history of technology and environmental history / Hugh S. Gorman and Betsy Mendelsohn.
Summary: "The view of nature and technology inhabiting totally different, even opposite, spheres persists across time and cultures. Most people would consider an English countryside or a Louisiana bayou to be "natural, " though each is to an extent the product of technology. Pollution, widely thought to be a purely man-made phenomenon, results partly from natural processes. All around us, things from the natural world are brought into the human world. At what point do we consider them part of culture rather than nature? And does such a distinction illuminate our world or obscure its workings?Summary: This compelling new book challenges the view that a clear and unwavering boundary exists between nature and technology. Rejecting this dichotomy, the contributors show how the history of each can be united in a constantly shifting panorama where definitions of "nature" and "technology" alter and overlap.Summary: In addition to recognizing the artificial divide between these two concepts, the essays in this book demonstrate how such thinking may affect societies' ability to survive and prosper. The answers and ideas are as numerous as the landscapes they consider, for there is no single path toward a more harmonious vision of technology and nature. Technologies that work in one place may not in another. Nature that is preserved in one community might become the raw material of technological progress somewhere else. Add to this the fact that the natural world and technology are not passive players, but are profoundly involved in cultural construction. Understanding such dynamics not only reveals a new historical complexity; it prepares us for coping with many of the most difficult and pressing social issues facing us today."--pub. desc.
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Book Science Museum London
Dana Research Centre Library: Books
Science & Technology Studies Collection 3:6:93 ILLUSORY (Browse shelf) Available 2402584996

Includes bibliographical references and index.

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