An overview of reviews

The Wakeful World: Animism, Mind and the Self in Nature - Emma Restall Orr

Below are a selection of comments on The Wakeful World, as quoted on the publisher's website.


This original and lively book challenges the prevailing worldviews of materialism and dualism, outlines the alternatives, presenting animism as a radically different, yet mature and coherent philosophy. ~ Gaia Media


Emma Restall Orr explores the subject of Animism using examples from Western Culture that we can all relate to. Restall Orr takes us on a romp through history to look at the opinions of great philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle, to name a couple. A very thought provoking and insightful piece of work. ~ Tracey Roberts, Kitchen Witch School of Natural Witchery


Emma Restall Orr has accomplished a most difficult task: combining academic-quality research with an accessible and compelling narrative. The concepts of animism, panpsychism, and mind in nature are all explored with great dexterity and insight. The Wakeful World offers a fascinating and powerful vision of animism for the present day — a vision that promises to reconnect us to the living Earth. ~ David Skrbina PhD, Author of Panpsychism in the West


"The Wakeful World" sets out to map a philosophical grounding for contemporary animism, and as both an animist and philosopher, Restall Orr is well placed to draw such a map. The result is more than a provocative and thoughtful model of how philosophy can illuminate our understanding of animism: Restall Orr's animist perspective returns the favour, opening up new horizons for philosophy itself. ~ Adrian Harris PhD, Ecopsychologist and founder of the Dragon Environmental Network


This original and lively book brings back animism - a most useful range of ideas which reductivists have somewhat wildly abandoned during the last century - into focus once more just when it is badly needed to cure current confusions about mind and body. In clear, contemporary language Emma Restall Orr deploys a new vision of this distracted scene that will surely prove really helpful. ~ Dr Mary Midgley, Moral Philosopher


In a mindful encounter between herself (her self) and the wider worlds of nature and scholarly debate, Emma Restall Orr contributes philosophically, provocatively and proactively to current debates about animism and panpsychism. She does far more than survey the scenery, she leads us on a journey towards re-integration within a self-aware cosmos full of engaging subjects. New science and ancient philosophy contribute to her careful and grounded consideration of the value of being a thoughtful animist today.

~ Graham Harvey, Reader in Religious Studies, The Open University Author of Animism: Respecting the Living World.