The Moral Authority of Nature

Front Cover
Lorraine Daston, Fernando Vidal
University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 2010 - Science - 526 pages
For thousands of years, people have used nature to justify their political, moral, and social judgments. Such appeals to the moral authority of nature are still very much with us today, as heated debates over genetically modified organisms and human cloning testify.

The Moral Authority of Nature offers a wide-ranging account of how people have used nature to think about what counts as good, beautiful, just, or valuable. The eighteen essays cover a diverse array of topics, including the connection of cosmic and human orders in ancient Greece, medieval notions of sexual disorder, early modern contexts for categorizing individuals and judging acts as "against nature," race and the origin of humans, ecological economics, and radical feminism. The essays also range widely in time and place, from archaic Greece to early twentieth-century China, medieval Europe to contemporary America.

Scholars from a wide variety of fields will welcome The Moral Authority of Nature, which provides the first sustained historical survey of its topic.

Contributors:
Danielle Allen, Joan Cadden, Lorraine Daston, Fa-ti Fan, Eckhardt Fuchs, Valentin Groebner, Abigail J. Lustig, Gregg Mitman, Michelle Murphy, Katharine Park, Matt Price, Robert N. Proctor, Helmut Puff, Robert J. Richards, Londa Schiebinger, Laura Slatkin, Julia Adeney Thomas, Fernando Vidal

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Contents

Doing What Comes Naturally
4
Measuring Authority Authoritative Measures Hesiods Works and Days
28
Nature in Person Medieval and Renaissance Allegories and Emblems
53
Burning The Fable of the Bees The Incendiary Authority of Nature
77
Attention and the Values of Nature in the Enlightenment
103
The Erotic Authority of Nature Science Art and the Female during Goethes Italian Journey
130
Nature and Bildung Pedagogical Naturalism in NineteenthCentury Germany
158
Economics Ecology and the Value of Nature
185
Ants and the Nature of Nature in Auguste Forel Erich Wasmann and William Morton Wheeler
285
To Become As One Dead Nature and the Political Subject in Modern Japan
311
Liberation through Control in the Body Politics of US Radical Feminism
334
ComplexioComplexion Categorizing Individual Natures 12501600
364
Human Experimentation in the Eighteenth Century Natural Boundaries and Valid Testing
387
Nature and Nation in Chinese Political Thought The National Essence Circle in EarlyTwentiethCentury China
412
When Pollen Became Poison A Cultural Geography of Ragweed in America
441
Three Roots of Human Recency Molecular Anthropology the Refigured Acheulean and the UNESCO Response to Auschwitz
469

NECESSITY AND FREEDOM
208
Trouble in the Earthly Paradise The Regime of Nature in Late Medieval Christian Culture
210
Nature on Trial Acts Against Nature in the Law Courts of Early Modern Germany and Switzerland
235
Onanism Enlightenment Medicine and the Immanent Justice of Nature
257
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
494
INDEX
498
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Lorraine Daston is the director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She is the author of Classical Probability in the Enlightenment, coauthor of Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150 1750, and editor of Biographies of Scientific Objects, the last published by the University of Chicago Press.

Fernando Vidal is a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. He is author of Piaget before Piaget and the forthcoming Analyse et sauvegarde de l'âme au siècle des Lumières.

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