The Scientific Revolution and ‘The Death of Nature’

Carolyn Merchant is a philosopher and historian of environment and science. Her book The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution is one of the most influential works of radical ecological thought, a pioneering work of ecofeminism. In it, Merchant exposes how the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, which accompanied the emergence of capitalism, served to dissect, reify and atomize nature, with which the female gender was associated. The domination of nature, consequently, would be accompanied by an effort to “domesticate” women, reducing both to inert objects of study and exoticization. The text we invite you to read is a retrospective look 25 years after the publication of the book, with answers to some of the controversies it had aroused during that time, especially in relation to Francis Bacon.