Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable


Michael Charles Tobias, PhD
Jane Gray Morrison

Series: Human Evolution, Biological and Cultural Domains
BISAC: NAT010000; PHI006000; SCI100000
DOI: 10.52305/CZHM8078

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome (TPS) is the latest piece of masterwork in the extensive literature of Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison’s deep ecological universe. It is the culmination of the Authors’ timely, methodological, visionary, radically compassionate and highly attuned thinking. Their rarified yet informed treatise explores the sobering, if terminal nexus between ecological conscience and our historical incapacity as a species to meaningfully reconfigure the nature of who we are, who we’ve become and perhaps who we are destined be remain – uncontrollable biodiversity and earth destroyers…This profound work, Terminal Philosophy Syndrome: Ecology and the Imponderable, seeks to break apart the tendency towards resignation, insufficient incremental change, and habituated depression that appears to be so rife within the earnest eco-philosophical community. Tobias and Morrison challenge these largely failed domains of future prognosis and open the reader to a new way of thinking, beyond the terminus of our faded hopes and grief in this, the diminishing age of the Anthropocene.” To read the full review, CLICK HERE>>>> – Michael S. Bostick, Senior Climate and Environmental Professional, Artist and Freelance Writer, San Francisco, CA, USA

“A phenomenally thorough and insightful book that deserves to be read and re-read by everyone who has seriously contemplated the possibility that we are at the threshold of our own species-extinction…This is not an easy book to read, and it is even harder to put it down once I started reading it. But reading it is worth the effort. Not because it tells us what our fate will be, but because it clears the deck of our inquiring mind so we can try to find our way toward an answer we can reasonably believe in. I am grateful to Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison for a seminal book.” – Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Author, Philosopher and Systems Scientist

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable is an important book. It provides us with a clear roadmap of what we are doing to the world, what we are doing to each other, what we are doing to Nature. But the roadmap is couched in a velvet glove of intellectual delights about the views of philosophers, religious leaders, and power-hungry rulers who have placed human interests first, above Nature which sustains us and makes our lives possible. The book can be read on two levels. One is the level of admiration for the depth of scholarship and complex thought. The other level is a wake-up call: We can all change, or we can all die. A great book!” – Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, Author of Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals (St. Martin’s Press, 2012); Professor Emeritus of Biology, Northern Arizona University, CEO of Zoolingua, CEO of Animal Communications Ltd., Director, Animal Language Institute; Lead author, Prairie Dogs: Communication and Community in an Animal Society (Harvard University Press, 2009)

“Reading Tobias’ and Morrison’s tome brought to mind the English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley’s words, “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.” Cancel your appointments, avail yourself of a comfortable chair, and appreciate it as you might a slow walk in a dense forest, the ground of which is thick with acorns and buds, the air filled with the sound of birds talking about their experiences, each an “Other” that carries inside their being wisdom about life and how to live it as a part of the whole. It’s an awe-inspiring read.” – Ingrid Newkirk, Founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its international affiliates. A Forbes Person of the Year, Ms. Newkirk is the author of 14 books on animals, their abilities, language, and sentience, and the subject of the HBO documentary, “I Am an Animal.”

“This staggering work of erudition and passion, Terminal Philosophy Syndrome – Ecology and the Imponderable, points the finger to the human as catalyst for countless ways of self-destruction and devastation of innumerable forms of non-humans. What can be done? How can we even recognize our complicity in so many tragedies, from the Holocaust and the many events before and since including the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing slaughter of billions of animals each year to slake unquenched human hunger? Tobias and Morrison call for a mind shift, a radical move from passivity to bold changes in thinking and lifestyle. By itemizing the scope and scale of our current global emergency in the context of a long and brutal history, this book serves as a powerful incentive to stand up and be counted, and to commit oneself personally to be part of the needed solutions. Tobias and Morrison’s encounter with Putin underlines the fragility and limits and urgency of human agency. The question remains: will the examples of Jain austere living and Bhutan’s good government be enough to provide a roadmap into an uncertain future?” – Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA

Terminal Philosophy Syndrome is a timely work of genius – a culmination of the brilliant, methodological, visionary but most importantly, radically compassionate, highly attuned thinking of Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison. Their rarified yet devastating treatise explores the sobering, if terminal nexus between ecological conscience and our historical incapacity as a species to meaningfully reconfigure the nature of who we are as uncontrollable biodiversity and earth destroyers. Tobias and Morrison have, like the Webb telescope, implored the farthest reaches of an imponderable possibility for human consciousness to “exceed its grasp,” innovating paradigms beyond atavistic linguistic and philosophical bounds, and enjoin ourselves with Nature in selfless, biosemiospheric immanence. A must read for the deepest of deep ecologists!”  – Michael S. Bostick, Senior Climate and Environmental Professional, Artist and Freelance Writer, San Francisco, CA, USA

“A central question Tobias and Morrison ask and seek to answer as it relates to the course of human thought and ecological outcomes is, “Instead of habituating ourselves to what we do and think, might we have thought and done differently?” Because they ask and ponder so many more thoughtful deep questions, this book is especially satisfying to read, e.g., “. . . How does one species commandeer [a planet] . . . 29.2% of which is land, the rest ocean? Why would we do that? Can philosophical traditions mean anything against the forefront of this unimaginable swath of pathologies that mark our kind?” The sweeping character of Terminal Philosophy Syndrome is stunning, engaging, and fulfilling, making it a mind-expanding tour de force worth reading.” David J. Wagner, PhD, Author, American Wildlife Art; Guest Curator, and adjunct faculty at colleges and universities, and Curator of over fifty art exhibitions 

To read these reviews in full, as well as additional commentaries, please CLICK HERE>>>>.

“The sobering new book ‘Terminal Philosophy Syndrome‘ will likely be discomforting. Climate change, while important to reduce and stop as soon as possible, is but one of many things that need close attention. An important message of hope: Everyone, no matter who you are or where you live, can do something to help our troubled planet right now.” – Marc Bekoff PhD, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
To read Dr. Bekoff’s full interview with the book’s authors, Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, that was recently published in Psychology Today, CLICK HERE>>>>

This treatise is focused on biology and the imponderable; ecosystems lost and found. The problem of human consciousness in the Anthropocene, which is a very different crisis for the planet than ever posed before by our thinking, and the reactive thoughts and feelings of all Others (a word we use to guide one’s image and interior sense of every individual of every other taxonomic rank on earth).

We cannot offer something otherwise, that would connote a validation of philosophical speculation. To do so is to live in a falsity, where the authentic, integral and protracted Consciousness that aspires to a facet of biology (and for some, physics) imports every buttress that can attempt to stave off, or at least delay reality, involving itself in everybody’s business, believing fiercely that its very Being matters. When -though who can say – by all evidence it does so only in negative numbers and exponents. In square roots whose expressions are largely disastrous, save for the moments of kindness, the unstinting gestures, first responders, museums, those who have sworn to a Hippocratic Oath in whatever honest and virtuous form, all those cherished byproducts of this unlikely species. Recognition that our species’ capacity to venerate nature in all her quirks and ellipses, stochastic incalculables and steadfast patterns, her graces and unimagined diversity, is our only chance of at least partial survival into an unknown future. Not that it matters in the least, whether we survive as a species, that is. Although, given the currents of our collective behavior – not to be entirely foregone in our conclusions – the one fact that appears to stand out in biological history is that the quicker we are gone, the better it will be. That is not a mean-spirited approach to a text, but a necessarily sobering one.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Introductory Misgivings

Chapter 2. Biosynthetic Constants

Chapter 3. Metaphorical Stages of Impasse

Chapter 4. Post-Modernist Personage Paradox

Chapter 5. Eco-Psychologies

Chapter 6. End User Fallacies

Chapter 7. Two Distinct Futures

Chapter 8. Credendum


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