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Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene

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Book Series: Critical Climate Change ISBN: 9781607853299 Year: Pages: 152 DOI: 10.3998/ohp.12917741.0001.001 Language: English
Publisher: Open Humanities Press
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2014-10-11 11:01:07
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Abstract

Life typically becomes an object of reflection when it is seen to be under threat. In particular, humans have a tendency to engage in thinking about life (instead of just continuing to live it) when being confronted with the prospect of death: be it the death of individuals due to illness, accident or old age; the death of whole ethnic or national groups in wars and other forms of armed conflict; but also of whole populations, be they human or nonhuman. Even though Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene is first and foremost concerned with life—understood as both a biological and social phenomenon—it is the narrative about the impending death of the human population (i.e., about the extinction of the human species), that provides a context for its argument. “Anthropocene” names a geo-historical period in which humans are said to have become the biggest threat to life on earth. However, rather than as a scientific descriptor, the term serves here primarily as an ethical injunction to think critically about human and nonhuman agency in the universe. Restrained in tone yet ambitious in scope, the book takes some steps towards outlining a minimal ethics thought on a universal scale. The task of such minimal ethics is to consider how humans can assume responsibility for various occurrences in the universe, across different scales, and how they can respond to the tangled mesh of connections and relations unfolding in it. Its goal is not so much to tell us how to live but rather to allow us to rethink “life” and what we can do with it, in whatever time we have left. The book embraces a speculative mode of thinking that is more akin to the artist’s method; it also includes a photographic project by the author.

Keywords

anthropocene

Death of the PostHuman

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Book Series: Critical Climate Change ISBN: 9781607852995 9781785420115 Year: Pages: 249 DOI: 10.3998/ohp.12329362.0001.001 Language: English
Publisher: Open Humanities Press
Subject: Environmental Sciences --- Social Sciences --- Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2014-10-11 11:01:16
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Abstract

Death of the PostHuman undertakes a series of critical encounters with the legacy of what had come to be known as 'theory,' and its contemporary supposedly post-human aftermath. There can be no redemptive post-human future in which the myopia and anthropocentrism of the species finds an exit and manages to emerge with ecology and life. At the same time, what has come to be known as the human - despite its normative intensity - can provide neither foundation nor critical lever in the Anthropocene epoch. Death of the PostHuman argues for a twenty-first century deconstruction of ecological and seemingly post-human futures.

Keywords

extinction --- anthropocene

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