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Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Mobius strip, twisted to have only one side. Deckard travels this oedipal path in Blade Runner (1982) when he learns that he might be the enemy he has been ordered to pursue. Ecological awareness takes this shape because ecological phenomena have a loop form ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Columbia University Press (first published 2016)
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Richard Derus
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Real Rating: 3.5* of five


I can honestly say that Author Morton was writing directly to my most dearly held concerns. The Anthropocene, the current post-Holocene epoch of geological time, is a given in the author's thinking; if you're not in sync with 21st-century thinking and deny that climate change is not only happening but is largely if not entirely of human genesis, this book will not do one single thing for you.
I feel like *liking* or *hating* this book is a matter of taste; i actually don't *hate* it so much as i wish Morton would settle the fuck down and sometimes cash out ideas more directly while spending less time explaining OOO and hyperobject theory as much as i *appreciated* that he is writing fairly accessibly about difficult topics. Mostly, I guess and this is the nihilist in me, this feels like a less fang-y and updated theoretical version of Against Leviathan Against His-Story and yet it al ...more
Dean Zochert
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A challenging book to read and assimilate. New terms, new ideas (that are really old ideas being brought to light), and a style of writing that is truly aesthetic. Morton explores the philosophy of the current ecological paradigm and how we got to where we are. He also investigates where we need to go from here. He explains how current environmentalism is missing the mark, totally, because it's based on the thinking of the old paradigm. We need a new way of speaking about the web of life and its ...more
Laura Walin
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, philosophy
This is the second book that I read from Timothy Morton and I continue to have the feeling that he is just kidding me. Although this one is an easier read than 'Ecology without Nature', it seems to me that Morton makes his argument too difficult to follow, just for art's (fun's, f**k's, whatever) sake. Contrary to EwN though, I think I understood the main arguments: Invention of agriculture was when things between humans and nature started to go wrong, starting from the fact that we made the dis ...more
Daniel Petersen
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recently finished a brief academic review of this for The Kelvingrove Review. Will link to it when it comes out. This is a very difficult work because Morton is trying to break out of dominant modes of logic (especially the 'Law of Noncontradiction', so you can imagine!). Yet it's also a scintillating read, full of vertiginous ideas and images, swallowing up the human in hyperobject upon hyperobject. 'Hyperobject' is Morton's term for something so gigantic in time and space that you can't see it ...more
Bastard Travel
Oct 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
Gibberish. The book is a stack of loose connections that never get paid off. Morton invents more complex phrasings for concepts that already exist (spare me the "hyperobjects", everything an English professor is going to grapple with exists in discernible units of time) then relay-races back and forth between them in an effort to make an argument, such as it is, look less like a collection of Burning Man doodle book scratchings.

It's an emperor's new clothes situation, and has little to do with
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I do not claim to understand this book or any of Morton’s ideas. That said, along with Donna Haraway, I consider Timothy Morton to be the most exciting thinker around right now. Despite this being shorter than his other books, Dark Ecology is arguable the most challenging. I mean, he does a damn good job of channeling his inner Heidegger —from the lyrical —romantic or baroque?- style of writing to the endless string of new terms he coins —also a la Martin Heidegger.

arche-lithic, the
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Dark Ecology” is an environmental philosophy book by Rice professor and notorious object-oriented ontologist Timothy Morton. In this book, Morton attempts to convey a new framework through which to view the current climate collapse. This new method of thinking he called dark ecology, and defines as a method of ecological knowing in which one is conscious not only of their being a part of ecosystems rather than above them, but also that the very nature of ecology is in and of itself a strange an ...more
Pearse Anderson
I got 1/3rd of the way through. I'm disappointed in myself. I just could not absorb or comprehend half of what he was saying, and that's partially my fault, but Morton also does not make it an easy job. I think he's best absorbed through OTHERS: when Vandermeer described his hyperobjects idea online, or when The Guardian did a profile on him, I understood it. Here: nope. Nope nope nope, and I hate that inaccessibility. ...more
Jed Mayer
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
At its best this work of ecocritical theory sends the mind racing almost as quickly and feverishly as that of its author, spinning off to fresh avenues of thought and approaches to thinking through our disastrous ecological moment. At its worst the reader (or at least this one) struggles through page after page, hoping for a moment of clarity that would make the journey worth it. But one has to accept Morton on his own terms, and this book did enlighten me on a number of issues and approaches an ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd, horror, non-fiction
Moments of lucidity interspersed with large swathes of nonsense. I will admit to skim-reading this rather than taking in every detail, but that is partly because Morton's style is too playful for its own good - he seems to be arguing some obvious things with an awful lot of waffle piled on top for the sake of it. Academic writing which deliberately obscures its own meaning feels more like a form of gatekeeping to me than ever at the moment, so I'm not inclined to be forgiving of it. ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
while the book is extremely enjoyable to read, I think the author likes to generate new ideas more than teasing out the obvious errors in his playful judgment
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book was a disappointment. The beginning lured me with lyrical descriptions but it quickly dissolved into wordy, navel-gazing, post-modern drivel. The only point I think the author got correct was his insistence on narcissism; the whole book struck me as a show off of how many elaborate philosophical ideas and pop culture references he could cram into each paragraph. Obtusely dense for no reason (except I suspect to stroke his own ego, a la many a post modern writer: sexual pathology masque ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tim's reading of Sophocles at the start of The Second Thread shimmers brilliantly.
The page where he continues to scale out the loops of massive shifts within which Anthropocene is one will melt your mind in a good way that liquefies its plastic rigidity.
I would recommend Dark Ecology to those who've read some of his work already rather than as a starting point. If you're looking for the starting book: I say The Ecological Thought.
Brian Henderson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Playful, dense, difficult, provocative -- what else might we expect from Morton? -- and a significant contribution to the necessary reorientation of feeling (not just thinking) that's required for a possible sustainable future: "A thing is saturated with nothingness....Entities are so incredibly themselves." And it's this "themselves-ness" that we need to sense, which might give us what the earth needs from us: respect. ...more
Jenny Lane
Mar 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was a very misleading book. What i believed i was buying was a book on theory. About ecology. But what it really came down to was Morton continuously repeating the same philosophical drivel over and over. I was expecting facts and figures. Maybe to even learn about something but all i learnt is that this book was inspired by some warped political incentive. Such a shame. My fault for buying a book based on what it promises, i guess?
Garrett Peace
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I understood about 40% of this, but it was engaging almost all the way through. Thought-provoking stuff.
May 08, 2021 rated it liked it
(The first third of) Fanged Noumena for anthropology/ecology. It gets similarly obsessed with the transcendental illusion Kant deduces. Thinking never knows things, it only thinks the thoughts of things, and so the things themselves operate behind our back. And sometimes these things are threatening! But this time The Noumena's fangs are not technology disguised as value, but Gaia.

Now, this actually makes for a pretty good book at first. Global warming and biodiversity collapse is already a cris
Ana Peraica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corvus Corax
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
wild ride
Jan 23, 2022 rated it really liked it
Theory so dense it reads like poetry. Wish I was assigned this in university so I could have someone unpack all of the many sources Morton references to make their point.
Walker Trimble
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This, Morton's best book yet, ranks in influence with the more recent works of Giorgio AgambenGiorgio Agamben. His style is filled with poststructural jouissance, always surprising and often opaque. The "logic" that it is "for" is a dialectic out of [Thesis:] the Romantic/Edenic dialectic of nature through [Antithesis:] a revitalization of matter (via Object Oriented Ontology) in a movement resembling The Secret Life of Puppets to [Synthesis:] a neo-Paleolithic revitalization of the exploitation ...more
Justin Goodman
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm torn between hating this book and everything in its vicinity, and being unable to stop thinking about it, partly because of this hate, partly because it has interesting ideas buried within Morton's (what comes across as) rigorously anti-scholarly approach. I don't need stilted sentences with hard to parse grammar and frustratingly technical language. But, the advantage of having footnotes (for one example) is that it suggests you're part of a community of ideas and not, as Morton's styl
Calliden Hunter
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really helped tie together a lot of ideas for me. Highly evocative – had close echoes in my lived experience & own explorations of weirdness, art, ecology, politics, philosophy, spirituality... His references all speak to a very specific mood that is 'ecognosis'.

Definitely worth reading & really unpacking.
Steen Ledet
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Morton's latest book has moments of deep insights and moments where I feel he's mostly spinning his wheels. What I admire most is his writing style; fresher and bolder than most academics. ...more
Wild and almost bullishly rhapsodic, while making the most sense out of anything and anyone.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A man without a head looking at himself looking at himself: mountains, Bruce, mountains. As if the point of that phrase were simply to make more of itself, like the farms of Substance D or Marx's scary encapsulation of capitalism in a tellingly similar phrase, M-C-M, where money loops through capital and multiplies. Pure survival without quality, based on fear, generating people who can't tell whether or not they are people working on objects they can't tell are objects. Mors ontologica indeed. ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Timothy Morton achieves a feat. He leaves a certain reader with a feeling of certainty in uncertainty, clarity within the paradox, a lightness in the darkness. His writing explains this weird, uncanny existence that is this space between nature and something other than nature; this area of being within the world and not of this world. He puts into words what some of us have known all along and gives voice to our world. maybe others will catch his drift and sway a bit towards accepting or embraci ...more
Maria Beltrami
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written four years ago, this book approaches the problem of global warming from what I would call a philosophical-historical point of view. In what the author defines as a Möebius' strip, we travel the road from the discovery of agriculture in ancient Mesopotamia to global warming, passing through the birth of patriarchy. Paradoxically, the results of this "program", whose code has been "running" for all these years and which is called agrilogistics, are even more evident today, at the time of C ...more
Bryn Baker
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Cool ideas. Terrible interpretation of Marx. Would probably make a great gift for a millennial- or anyone who’s ever owned a “give Bush a wedgie” bumper sticker...Seems apprehensive with his citations of Chalmers. The notes/bib was certainly a stylistic choice. Morton has a particular charm as a writer though. Adored the essay “Ecology without Nature”. On to read Hyperobjects as soon as I can get my hands on 25 bucks! Dark Ecology was a very enjoyable read!
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Timothy Bloxam Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. They are the author of Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence; Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (with Marcus Boon and Eric Cazdyn); Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World; and other books.

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