Showing items in 'Philosophy'

Kant at Le Bourget

It is natural to adopt a cynical view of the global climate change conference now taking place outside Paris. Behind the noble public declarations self-interest is ruthlessly asserted in the private negotiating rooms. Rules are bent, scrutiny is resisted and numbers are manipulated to hide emissions. Yet from another standpoint, there is something magnificent taking […]

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What Can Nietzsche Tell Us About the Paris Conference?

In essence, the Paris conference may be seen as a ceremony to which nations come to reaffirm their promises in the presence of the global community, that is, to make a public commitment to play their part in the shared enterprise of combatting global warming. This is so because virtually all delegations arriving in Paris […]

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A New Kind of Human Being: Reply to Steve Fuller

An article I wrote critical of those who plan to build a spaceship to escape an Earth ruined by climate change attracted a response from Steve Fuller, who is described as the sociologist of the “space ark” project I had in mind. Fuller situates my commentary within my wider critique of “ecomodernism”. He writes that […]

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Crimes Against Nature: The Banality of Ethics in the Anthropocene

Among the great crimes of the twentieth century, the most enduring will surely prove to be human disruption of the Earth’s climate. The effects of human-induced climate change are apparent now and will become severe this century, but the warming is expected to last thousands of years. That is so because extra carbon dioxide persists […]

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The Sacrament of Creation: What Can We Expect from Pope Francis’s Ecological Encyclical?

Pope Francis has made no secret of his conviction that human-induced climate change, along with other forms of environmental degradation, represents a grave threat to humanity’s future. At times he even speaks in quasi-apocalyptic terms: “Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!” His forthcoming “ecological encyclical” […]

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When Earth Juts Through World

With the arrival of the Anthropocene we must now be suspicious of all ideas developed in the last 10,000 years, including James Lovelock’s notion of Gaia which, it turns out, is a child of the Holocene. The Anthropocene is a reversion to the unruly and chaotic conditions before the Holocene’s 10-millennium epoch of calm. Now […]

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Gaia Does Not Negotiate

Gaia Does Not Negotiate A contribution to “The Situation Facing the Moderns After the Intrusion of Gaïa: A Philosophical Simulation”, the final evaluation conference of the project An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME) Amphitheatre Caquot, Sciences Po, Paris, July 28-29, 2014 by one of Gaia’s Chargés d’Affaires invited to a diplomatic workshop. Gaia does […]

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What Would Heidegger Say About Geoengineering?

Abstract Proposals to respond to climate change by geoengineering the Earth’s climate system, such as by regulating the amount of sunlight reaching the planet, may be seen as a radical fulfillment of Heidegger’s understanding of technology as destiny. Before geoengineering was conceivable, the Earth as a whole had to be representable as a total object, […]

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It’s time to disconnect from techno-fetishism

When the computer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov it seemed to many that we had crossed a threshold. By beating us at our most complex intellectual task, man had at last been defeated by a machine. Kasparov’s defeat prompted anguish from those fearful of the colonizing power of the machine world. Newspapers […]

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Climate Change Signals the End of the Social Sciences

In response to the heatwave that set a new Australia-wide record on 7 January, when the national average maximum reached 40.33°C, , the Bureau of Meteorology issued a statement that, on reflection, sounds the death knell for all of the social sciences taught in our universities. “Everything that happens in the climate system now”, the […]

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