Carolyn Merchant Photo

Carolyn Merchant

Born: Jul 12, 1936

Birthplace: Rochester

Nationality: United States

Carolyn Merchant

Date of Birth : Jul 12, 1936
Birth Place : Rochester

Carolyn Merchant is an American ecofeminist philosopher and historian of science most famous for her theory on 'The Death of Nature', whereby she identifies the Enlightenment as the period when science began to atomize, objectify and dissect nature, foretelling its eventual conception as inert. Her works were important in the development of environmental history and the history of science. She is Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics at UC Berkeley. She writes, "The female earth was central to organic cosmology that was undermined by the Scientific Revolution and the rise of a market-oriented culture...for sixteenth-century Europeans the root metaphor binding together the self, society and the cosmos was that of an organism...organismic theory emphasized interdependence among the parts of the human body, subordination of individual to communal purposes in family, community, and state, and vital life permeate the cosmos to the lowliest stone." Merchant tells us that prior to the Enlightenment, Nature was conceived of as the benevolent mother of all things, albeit sometimes wild.

Awards Won

  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
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