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In this important and original interdisciplinary work, well-known environmental philosopher Eric Katz explores technology's role in dominating both nature and humanity. He argues that technology dominates, and hence destroys, the natural world; it dominates, and hence destroys, critical aspects of human life and society. Technology causes an estrangement from nature, and thus a loss of meaning in human life. As a result, humans lose the power to make moral and social choices; they lose the power to control their lives.
Katz's argument innovatively connects two distinct areas of thought: the fundamental goal of the Holocaust, including Nazi environmental policy, to heal the degenerate elements of society; and the plan to heal degraded natural systems that informs the contemporary environmental policy of 'ecological restoration'. In both arenas of 'healing,' Katz argues that technological forces drive action, while domination emerges as the prevailing ideology.
Katz's work is a plea for the development of a technology that does not dominate and destroy but instead promotes autonomy and freedom. Anne Frank, a victim of Nazi ideology and action, saw the titular tree behind her secret annex as a symbol of freedom and moral goodness. In Katz's argument, the tree represents a free and autonomous nature, resistant to human control and domination. Anne Frank's Tree is rooted in an empirical approach to philosophy, seating complex ethical ideas in an accessible and powerful narrative of historical fact and deeply personal lived experience.