Being Ecological

Being Ecological

By Timothy Morton

A book about ecology without information dumping, guilt inducing, or preaching to the choir.





A book about ecology without information dumping, guilt inducing, or preaching to the choir.

Don't care about ecology? You think you don't, but you might all the same. Don't read ecology books? This book is for you. Ecology books can be confusing information dumps that are out of date by the time they hit you. Slapping you upside the head to make you feel bad. Grabbing you by the lapels while yelling disturbing facts. Handwringing in agony about “What are we going to do?” This book has none of that. Being Ecological doesn't preach to the eco-choir. It's for you—even, Timothy Morton explains, if you're not in the choir, even if you have no idea what choirs are. You might already be ecological.

After establishing the approach of the book (no facts allowed!), Morton draws on Kant and Heidegger to help us understand living in an age of mass extinction caused by global warming. He considers the object of ecological awareness and ecological thinking: the biosphere and its interconnections. He discusses what sorts of actions count as ecological—starting a revolution? going to the garden center to smell the plants? And finally, in “Not a Grand Tour of Ecological Thought,” he explores a variety of current styles of being ecological—a range of overlapping orientations rather than preformatted self-labeling.

Caught up in the us-versus-them (or you-versus-everything else) urgency of ecological crisis, Morton suggests, it's easy to forget that you are a symbiotic being entangled with other symbiotic beings. Isn't that being ecological?


$15.95 T ISBN: 9780262038041 216 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in


$15.95 T ISBN: 9780262537124 216 pp. | 5.375 in x 8 in

For sale only in the US or the Philippines.


  • Morton makes an admirable effort to expand the genre into something more appealing to a wide variety of readers...Instead of anxiously trying to troubleshoot all of the hypothetical ill-effects of proposed environmental action or policies – a futile effort in our complex and dynamic world – Morton gives us permission to embrace the uncertainty.



  • I have been reading Tim's books for a while and I like them a lot.


  • A freewheeling, essential guide from one of our foremost ecological philosophers. Very useful for anyone wanting a better understanding of our relationship to the biosphere. Morton points to how we can live a meaningful life in an uncertain modern era.

    Jeff VanderMeer

    author of the Southern Reach trilogy

  • If you're still just grooving along with Alan Watts and thinking that nature is wiggly, think again. Timothy Morton's flat ontology and his leveling of the uncanny valley contradict earlier clichés to open up new possibilities for conceptualizing a better future together. And, to tune a bit to the register of Being Ecological, it's all accomplished in a vivid discussion with excellent bookfeel.

    Nick Montfort

    Professor of Digital Media, MIT; author of The Future