"I think "The Social Creation of Nature" stands Evernden in relation to the present generation roughly as Thoreau stood in relation to New England Transcendentalism."--Max Oelschlaeger, author of "The Idea of Wilderness."
"A thoughtful and illuminating book... For Evernden, ''wildness'' is what should be defended and preserved."-- "New Scientist."
One reason for our failure to "save the earth," argues Neil Evernden, is our disagreement about what "nature" really is--how it works, what constitutes a risk to it, and even whether we ourselves are part of it. Nature is as much a social entity as a physical one. In addition to the physical resources to be harnessed and transformed, it consists of a domain of norms that may be called upon in defense of certain social ideals. In exploring the consequences of conventional understandings of nature, "The Social Creation of Nature" also seeks a way around the limitations of a socially created nature in order to defend what is actually imperiled--"wildness," in which, Thoreau wrote, lies hope for "the preservation of the world."