Coming Home to the Pleistocene

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597268479
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"When we grasp fully that the best expressions of our humanity were not invented by civilization but by cultures that preceded it, that the natural world is not only a set of constraints but of contexts within which we can more fully realize our dreams, we will be on the way to a long overdue reconciliation between opposites which are of our own making." --from Coming Home to the Pleistocene Paul Shepard was one of the most profound and original thinkers of our time. Seminal works like The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game, Thinking Animals, and Nature and Madness introduced readers to new and provocative ideas about humanity and its relationship to the natural world. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Paul Shepard returned repeatedly to his guiding theme, the central tenet of his thought: that our essential human nature is a product of our genetic heritage, formed through thousands of years of evolution during the Pleistocene epoch, and that the current subversion of that Pleistocene heritage lies at the heart of today's ecological and social ills. Coming Home to the Pleistocene provides the fullest explanation of that theme. Completed just before his death in the summer of 1996, it represents the culmination of Paul Shepard's life work and constitutes the clearest, most accessible expression of his ideas. Coming Home to the Pleistocene pulls together the threads of his vision, considers new research and thinking that expands his own ideas, and integrates material within a new matrix of scientific thought that both enriches his original insights and allows them to be considered in a broader context of current intellectual controversies. In addition, the book explicitly addresses the fundamental question raised by Paul Shepard's work: What can we do to recreate a life more in tune with our genetic roots? In this book, Paul Shepard presents concrete suggestions for fostering the kinds of ecological settings and cultural practices that are optimal for human health and well-being. Coming Home to the Pleistocene is a valuable book for those familiar with the life and work of Paul Shepard, as well as for new readers seeking an accessible introduction to and overview of his thought.

Nature and Madness

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820342337
Format: PDF
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Through much of history our relationship with the earth has been plagued by ambivalence--we not only enjoy and appreciate the forces and manifestations of nature, we seek to plunder, alter, and control them. Here Paul Shepard uncovers the cultural roots of our ecological crisis and proposes ways to repair broken bonds with the earth, our past, and nature. Ultimately encouraging, he notes, "There is a secret person undamaged in every individual. We have not lost, and cannot lose, the genuine impulse."

Traces of an Omnivore

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597261106
Format: PDF, ePub
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Paul Shepard is one of the most profound and original thinkers of our time. He has helped define the field of human ecology, and has played a vital role in the development of what have come to be known as environmental philosophy, ecophilosophy, and deep ecology -- new ways of thinking about human-environment interactions that ultimately hold great promise for healing the bonds between humans and the natural world. Traces of an Omnivore presents a readable and accessible introduction to this seminal thinker and writer. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Paul Shepard has addressed the most fundamental question of life: Who are we? An oft-repeated theme of his writing is what he sees as the central fact of our existence: that our genetic heritage, formed by three million years of hunting and gathering remains essentially unchanged. Shepard argues that this, "our wild Pleistocene genome," influences everything from human neurology and ontogeny to our pathologies, social structure, myths, and cosmology. While Shepard's writings travel widely across the intellectual landscape, exploring topics as diverse as aesthetics, the bear, hunting, perception, agriculture, human ontogeny, history, animal rights, domestication, post-modern deconstruction, tourism, vegetarianism, the iconography of animals, the Hudson River school of painters, human ecology, theoretical psychology, and metaphysics, the fundamental importance of our genetic makeup is the predominant theme of this collection. As Jack Turner states in an eloquent and enlightening introduction, the essays gathered here "address controversy with an intellectual courage uncommon in an age that exults the relativist, the skeptic, and the cynic. Perused with care they will reward the reader with a deepened appreciation of what we so casually denigrate as primitive life -- the only life we have in the only world we will ever know."

Man in the Landscape

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820327143
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A pioneering exploration of the roots of our attitudes toward nature, Paul Shepard's most seminal work is as challenging and provocative today as when it first appeared in 1967. Man in the Landscape was among the first books of a new genre that has elucidated the ideas, beliefs, and images that lie behind our modern destruction and conservation of the natural world. Departing from the traditional study of land use as a history of technology, this book explores the emergence of modern attitudes in literature, art, and architecture--their evolutionary past and their taproot in European and Mediterranean cultures. With humor and wit, Shepard considers the influence of Christianity on ideas of nature, the absence of an ethic of nature in modern philosophy, and the obsessive themes of dominance and control as elements of the modern mind. In his discussions of the exploration of the American West, the establishment of the first national parks, and the reactions of pioneers to their totally new habitat, he identifies the transport of traditional imagery into new places as a sort of cultural baggage.

Thinking Animals

Author: Paul Shepard
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820342343
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In a world increasingly dominated by human beings, the survival of other species becomes more and more questionable. In this brilliant book, Paul Shepard offers a provocative alternative to an "us or them" mentality, proposing that other species are integral to humanity's evolution and exist at the core of our imagination. This trait, he argues, compels us to think of animals in order to be human. Without other living species by which to measure ourselves, Shepard warns, we would be less mature, care less for and be more careless of all life, including our own kind.

The Last Lost World

Author: Lydia V. Pyne
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143123424
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An illuminating investigation into the Pleistocene era's dual character as a geologic time and a cultural idea explains the global changes that created our world while describing how ideas about the Pleistocene have shaped intellectual culture, science and modern origins beliefs. 20,000 first printing.

Megafauna

Author: Richard A. Fariña
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253007194
Format: PDF, Mobi
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More than 10,000 years ago spectacularly large mammals roamed the pampas and jungles of South America. This book tells the story of these great beasts during and just after the Pleistocene, the geological epoch marked by the great ice ages. Megafauna describes the history and way of life of these animals, their comings and goings, and what befell them at the beginning of the modern era and the arrival of humans. It places these giants within the context of the other mammals then alive, describing their paleobiology—how they walked; how much they weighed; their diets, behavior, biomechanics; and the interactions among them and with their environment. It also tells the stories of the scientists who contributed to our discovery and knowledge of these transcendent creatures and the environment they inhabited. The episode known as the Great American Biotic Interchange, perhaps the most important of all natural history "experiments," is also an important theme of the book, tracing the biotic events of both North and South America that led to the fauna and the ecosystems discussed in this book.

Late Pleistocene Archaeology and Ecology in the Far Northeast

Author: Claude Chapdelaine
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 1603447903
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Eight contributions adapted from presentations given at a symposium held at the 2009 annual meeting of the Quebec Archaeological Association in Sherbrooke; 2 additional contributions and the introd. written specifically for this book.

Humans at the End of the Ice Age

Author: Lawrence Guy Straus
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461311454
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Humans at the End of the Ice Age chronicles and explores the significance of the variety of cultural responses to the global environmental changes at the last glacial-interglacial boundary. Contributions address the nature and consequences of the global climate changes accompanying the end of the Pleistocene epoch-detailing the nature, speed, and magnitude of the human adaptations that culminated in the development of food production in many parts of the world. The text is aided by vital maps, chronological tables, and charts.

Walking in the Land of Many Gods

Author: A. James Wohlpart
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820345245
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"How are we placed on Earth? What is our relationship to the world around us, and how does our thinking affect the way we relate to the world? We are entrapped, says A. James Wohlpart, by what Martin Heidegger calls "enframing," a worldview that considers all objects as mere resources for our use. Walking in the Land of Many Gods envisions a new way of thinking about the world, one grounded in a moral imagination reconnected to Earth. Insightful readings of three contemporary classics of nature writing--Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Terry Tempest Williams's Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and Linda Hogan's Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World--are at the heart of Wohlpart's endeavor. Powerful and affecting works like these reveal a pathway to a deeper remembering, one that reconnects us with the primal forces of creation and acknowledges the sacredness of the world. We have forgotten that the world around us is rich and fertile and generative, says Wohlpart. His exploration of these literary works, based on deep anthropology and Native American philosophy, opens a pathway into a new way of thinking called sacred reason. Founded on interdependence and interrelationship, and on care and compassion, sacred reason reminds us that divinity exists around us at all times. We are invited to walk, once again, in a land filled with many gods."--