Matter and Desire

An Erotic Ecology

by Andreas Weber, John Elder

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781603586979
  • 9781603586986

Nautilus Award Gold Medal Winner, Ecology & Environment  

In Matter and Desire, internationally renowned biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber rewrites ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships, of yearning for connections, and of expressing these desires through our bodies. Being alive is an erotic process—constantly transforming the self through contact with others, desiring ever more life.

In clever and surprising ways, Weber recognizes that love—the impulse to establish connections, to intermingle, to weave our existence poetically together with that of other beings—is a foundational principle of reality. The fact that we disregard this principle lies at the core of a global crisis of meaning that plays out in the avalanche of species loss and in our belief that the world is a dead mechanism controlled through economic efficiency.

Although rooted in scientific observation, Matter and Desire becomes a tender philosophy for the Anthropocene, a “poetic materialism,” that closes the gap between mind and matter. Ultimately, Weber discovers, in order to save life on Earth—and our own meaningful existence as human beings—we must learn to love.


  • Chelsea Green Publishing; August 2017
  • ISBN: 9781603586986
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Matter and Desire
  • Author: Andreas Weber; John Elder (other)
  • Imprint: Chelsea Green Publishing
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781603586979
  • 9781603586986

In The Press

“When Andreas Weber looks on a meadow, he sees ‘part of our body, folded outward, ready to be strolled through.’ The ocean’s tides are ‘the way the Earth perceives the moon,’ and gravitation is ‘the Earth’s tender longing for us.’ With such graceful, lucid lines, Weber invites us to see a world filled with delight and one that yearns, as we do, for contact: the erotics of encounter. Part scientific reflection, part philosophical reverie, part lyrical benediction for the stones and swifts and plants and water ouzels of his beloved Ligurian countryside, Matter and Desire is a deeply felt book from a profoundly humane writer.”—Fred Bahnson, author of Soil and Sacrament; director, Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program, Wake Forest University School of Divinity