After following this course students
- will have insight into the nature and philosophical import of the global ecological crisis and its current reformulation in terms of the Anthropocene
- will be familiar with the central issues discussed in the current debate on the Anthropocene
- will be familiar with key insights and concepts of contemporary authors representing the current ecological turn in continental philosophy
- will understand the role of science and technology in the context of the global ecological crisis
- will be able to critically apply the above to concrete ecological issues
- will be able to explain and present their insights to a lay as well as a professional audience
- will be able to critically reflect on the topics discussed in the course and report this in the form of a paper
The Ecological Turn in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
As a result of the global ecological crisis and more recently with the announcement of the so-called Anthropocene as the age in which the human has become the most important planetary factor while the Earth itself is becoming increasingly volatile and less human-friendly, we can perceive what may be called an ‘ecological turn’ in contemporary ‘continental’ philosophy. More and more thinkers realize that the future of humanity crucially depends upon the future of the planet as its unique life support system and recognize the need to address the human condition as a thoroughly technological with explicit reference to its ecological and ultimately planetary embedding. Ecology and technology in their increasing intertwinement are about to become the matrices of philosophical thought. In particular the Anthropocene calls for a fundamental reconsideration of the human-nature and nature-culture relationships as well as the role of science and technology within the human endeavour.
In this course we will look at the various strands of ecological thinking in today’s philosophical landscape by introducing key thoughts from the work of a range of contemporary authors like Peter Sloterdijk, Bruno Latour, Timothy Morton, Isabelle Stengers, Jane Bennett, Bernard Stiegler, Donna Haraway, Erich Hörl, Clive Hamilton and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. Topics to be discussed include the human-Earth relation, the noo- and technosphere, geophilosopy, the critique and critical reorientation of anthropocentrism, posthumanism, eco-modernism and its critiques, new materialism, anti-correlationism and new ontologies, the ontological turn in anthropology and ecological coexistence.