The Theoretical Individual

| January 30, 2018 | Leave a Comment


Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Book - Recent

Date of Publication: January 12, 2018

Year of Publication: 2018

Publication City: Cham, Switzerland

Publisher: Springer

Author(s): Michael Charles Tobias, Jane Gray Morrison

Categories: , , ,

Imagination, Ethics and the Future of Humanity

From the publisher:

TheTheoreticalIndividualCOVERHow can the one influence the many? From posing seminal questions about what comprises a human individual, to asking whether human evolution is alive and well, favoring individuals or the species, this work is a daring, up-to-the-minute overview of an urgent, multidisciplinary premise. It explores the extent to which human history provides empirical evidence for the capacity of an individual to exert meaningful suasion over their species, and asks: Can an individual influence the survival of the human species and the planet?

If there are to be cultures of transformation dedicated to seeing us all through the Sixth Extinction Spasm, the Anthropocene, inflicting as little biological havoc as possible, what might such orientations—a collective, widespread biophilia, or reverence for nature—look like? In this powerful work, with a combination of data and direct observation, the authors invite readers to explore how such transformations might resonate throughout the human community; in what ways a person might overcome the seemingly insurmountable environmental tumult our species has unleashed; the clear and salient motives, ethics, aspirations and pragmatic idealism he/she might mirror and embrace in order to effect a profound difference—at the individual level—for all of life and life’s myriad habitats. Chapters illuminate an ambitiously broad digest of research from two-dozen disciplines. Those include ecodynamics, biosemiotics, neural plasticity, anthropology, paleontology and the history of science, among others. All converge upon a set of ethics-based scenarios for mitigating ecological damage to ourselves and other life forms.

This highly readable and tightly woven treatise speaks to scientists, students and all those who are concerned about ethical activism and the future of the biosphere.

Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison are ecological philosophers and animal liberation activists who have worked for decades to help enrich our understanding of ecosystem dynamics and humanity’s ambiguous presence amid that great orchestra that is nature.

This book is available in hardcover and ebook formats directly from Springer, or it can be found through, Google Play, and It might also be available through your local bookstore or library.

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  • Michael Pastore

    Intelligence and Compassion Combine to Make a Masterpiece
    “Civilization,” wrote H. G. Wells, “is a race between education and catastrophe.” Too often it seems as if we are losing the race, muddling helplessly through this Anthropocene era — our planet’s sixth and deadliest tsunami of extinction.
    The kind of education we need now, far more than any other, is what Albert Schweitzer called “reverence for life”, and current thinkers have named “biophilia” — the love and caring between one species and another.
    In =The Theoretical Individual=, Tobias and Morrison ask “Can one individual affect the many?”, illuminating this quintessential question with insights from ecology, ethics, law, psychology, natural history, literature, philosophy, spirituality, anthropology, mythology, and more.
    In the words of the prophet, “What I say now with one heart will be said tomorrow by many hearts.”
    Our intelligent machines rapidly become more human — as we human beings ever-so-gradually become more heartless like machines. Yet the heart of humanity still beats with hope and dreams. Tobias and Morrison have written a revolutionary book, indispensable for everyone who wants to understand the complexities and urgencies of this transformational era, and then make meaningful changes for a kinder, wiser, and more compassionate world.