Jedediah Purdy, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law, discusses the meaning of human life in an environment where people and nature are inextricably linked.
Jedediah Purdy is the Everett Professor of Law at Duke University, where he teaches environmental and constitutional law, legal theory, and political thought. In 2014-15, he offered a yearlong seminar on the past and future of capitalist democracy to students from across the university. In past years, he has contributed to university-wide lecture courses on food and environment. This spring, he is co-teaching a course on ecology as a nexus of law, science, and narrative culture. He has been a visiting faculty member at Yale University, Harvard University, and Georgetown University, among others.
Purdy is the author of After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene , which has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His four previous books are For Common Things, Being America, A Tolerable Anarchy, and The Meaning of Property. He has written for n+1; the Los Angeles Review of Books; The New York Times op-ed page and book review; Democracy; The Atlantic; Tank; and Dissent. He is a frequent contributor to Avidly and to the website of The New Yorker. His 2014 n+1 essay, “The Accidental Neoliberal,” was selected as a notable essay in the 2015 Best American Essays collection.
Purdy was raised on a small farm outside Chloe, West Virginia. He graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude and from Yale Law School. He has worked for the West Virginia Environmental Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and has been a clerk to a federal circuit judge.