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Despite their conceptual allergy to vegetal life, philosophers have used germination, growth, blossoming, fruition, reproduction, and decay as illustrations of abstract concepts; mentioned plants in passing as the natural backdrops for dialogues, letters, and other compositions; spun elaborate allegories out of flowers, trees, and even grass; and recommended appropriate medicinal, dietary, and aesthetic approaches to select species of plants. In this book, Michael Marder illuminates the vegetal centerpieces and hidden kernels that have powered theoretical discourse for centuries. Choosing twelve botanical specimens that correspond to twelve significant philosophers, he recasts the development of philosophy through the evolution of human and plant relations. A philosophical history for the postmetaphysical age, The Philosopher's Plant reclaims the organic heritage of human thought. With the help of vegetal images, examples, and metaphors, the book clears a path through philosophy's tangled roots and dense undergrowth, opening up the discipline to all readers.
The margins of philosophy are populated by non-human, non-animal living beings, including plants. While contemporary philosophers tend to refrain from raising ontological and ethical concerns with vegetal life, Michael Marder puts this life at the forefront of the current deconstruction of metaphysics. He identifies the existential features of plant behavior and the vegetal heritage of human thought so as to affirm the potential of vegetation to resist the logic of totalization and to exceed the narrow confines of instrumentality. Reconstructing the life of plants "after metaphysics," Marder focuses on their unique temporality, freedom, and material knowledge or wisdom. In his formulation, "plant-thinking" is the non-cognitive, non-ideational, and non-imagistic mode of thinking proper to plants, as much as the process of bringing human thought itself back to its roots and rendering it plantlike.
This collection explores artistic representations of vegetal life that imperil human life, voicing anxieties about our relationship to other life forms with which we share the earth. From medieval manuscript illustrations to modern works of science fiction and horror, plants that manifest monstrous agency defy human control, challenge anthropocentric perception, and exact a violent vengeance for our blind and exploitative practices. Plant Horror explores how depictions of monster plants reveal concerns about the viability of our prevailing belief systems and dominant ideologies— as well as a deep-seated fear about human vulnerability in an era of deepening ecological crisis. Films discussed include The Day of the Triffids, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wicker Man, Swamp Thing, and The Happening.
Presenting Far-Reaching New therapeutic research, Peter Grunewald examines the underlying spiritual aspects of constitutional treatment using mineral remedies. This constitutional approach, used in the treatment of chronic physical, neurological, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and mental conditions and illnesses, centers on a system of nine main minerals. Grunewald traces these nine substances on their paths through the human organism, and demonstrates their indications, effects and interactions. He also develops a spiritual and alchemistic understanding of the working of these substances, based on anthroposophical medical research.Gold, the sun metal, and carbon, the substance of organic life on earth, occupy a central position in this study of the mineral system. The Philosopher's Stone is achieved through the transformation of carbon and the creation of gold. The author shows how the important medicine Aurum (made from gold) relates to this process. He suggests that a mineral therapy centered on the principle of transformation conceals future spiritual mysteries that relate to evolutionary laws inherent in the physical and higher bodies.
Blossoming from a correspondence between Luce Irigaray and Michael Marder, Through Vegetal Being is an intense personal, philosophical, and political meditation on the significance of the vegetal for our lives, our ways of thinking, and our relations with human and nonhuman beings. The vegetal world has the potential to rescue our planet and our species and offers us a way to abandon past metaphysics without falling into nihilism. Luce Irigaray has argued in her philosophical work that living and coexisting are deficient unless we recognize sexuate difference as a crucial dimension of our existence. Michael Marder believes the same is true for vegetal difference. Irigaray and Marder consider how plants contribute to human development by sustaining our breathing, nourishing our senses, and keeping our bodies and minds alive. They note the importance of returning to ancient Greek tradition and engaging with Eastern teachings to revive a culture closer to nature. As a result, we can reestablish roots when we are displaced and recover the vital energy we need to improve our sensibility and relation to others. This generative discussion points toward a more universal way of becoming human that is embedded in the vegetal world.

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