Cover Image: Philosophy for Gardeners

Philosophy for Gardeners

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Member Reviews

You definitely have to be into philosophy to enjoy this book. I’m way more into gardening, so I enjoyed the parts that were more realistic/gardening heavy. 

The philosophy in this book uses gardening to reillustrate familiar concepts such as the tree in the forest. If I don’t check under the pot, is a frog really there? It also delves into more advanced philosophical concepts I had a hard time getting on board with.

I love the imagery in this book. Beautiful, vintage-style illustrations, but overall, it wasn’t really for me. 

Thank you, NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the ARC.
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This title will likely appeal to those of with a philosophical bent; I found it less so for gardeners like myself. The connections were there, but the concepts seemed quite academic, more meriting serious study than casual contemplation. In design, the volume had gorgeous varied drawings. Especially the botanical artwork had appeal. However, while the subdued green print on off-white pages contributed to the theme, it was difficult to see. It had the feel of a gift book.
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Philosophy for Gardeners by Kate Collyns is a delightfully thought inducing look at some basic philosophical ideas through the lens of gardening. Whether your interest is primarily philosophy, gardening, or both this book will offer many new perspectives even on the topics you've already studied and learned.

Gardens and philosophy go way back, and there have been various books that explore this intersection but few if any use the act of gardening as the entryway to philosophical thought. A garden, whether you're a gardener or someone just enjoying it, is a place of quiet and contemplation. Your thoughts may be as simple as observing a beautiful flower or the song of a bird, but often, if you spend some time there, you begin thinking bigger thoughts. This book grounds those thoughts, quite literally, in the act of gardening itself.

I think those who have studied philosophy AND enjoy gardening will enjoy this a lot. It isn't that any specific item will be new to you, it will be the juxtaposition of things you knew from a certain perspective and now can view them from a new perspective. It will also key your mind into making other connections next time you are either gardening or studying philosophy.

While one of my undergrad degrees was philosophy I have never been a gardener, so this was a wonderful trip through an entirely new way, for me, to approach familiar topics. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in philosophy and/or gardening, especially those well versed in both.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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A very unusual way that mixes garden with philosophy. It's not always easy to follow but it's really interesting and I liked the examples and the style of writing.
I think it's a good way to learn about philosophy.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for honest feedback. Right off the bat, I was really interested in this book due to its combination of philosophy and gardening. This book is separated into sections such as 1) Mysteries of the Soil (Plato), 2) Growth (Darwin), 3) The kindness of plants (game theory).... there are a variety of black and white illustrations that come alongside the passages. No particular passage goes on too long, which allows for a good pace & a variety of content. 

I want to take my favorite section as part of the review. This excerpt is the "The Kindness of Plants" section in Chapter 7. The thematic question is, "Can plants be altruistic to maintain their family's genetic continuity, just as humans fight for their welfare of members of their own tribe?" This chapter is brief, but it has a lot of informative content about evolutionary theory and how it relates to the survival of nature. I really liked the connection to Robert Axelrod's computer experiments and cooperative behavior / game theory. It is clear that the author is informed and highly educated in their grappling with philosophy and nature. The reason why I think it's so clear is that the philosophical and natural discourse is conveyed clearly, thus being accessible to a layperson or beginner. I sometimes find philosophy discourse dense, perhaps due to its abstract nature or the wordiness. This book is not like that, it's consumable and good for anyone who has an interest in these topics. I think I envision this book being a great gift for a botany student.... it's like, a good combination in botany, science, philosophy, etc.
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