“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Bruno Latour’s Gifford Lectures are underway: “Facing Gaia”

Bruno Latour is about halfway through his lecture series on natural religion. Videos of the lectures should be posted by the University of Edinburgh any day now.

Here is a good review of lecture 3, titled “The puzzling face of a secular Gaia.” I especially like Latour’s neologism “geostory,” meant to replace the bifurcated notion of “history” on the one hand and “nature” on the other:

Biology remains haunted by the semiotic. Science is always an enterprise in metaphor, trope, and being trapped in an ‘as if’ way of presenting the world. Thus the planet is to be written and read, as well as simply taken to exist. This combines with the fact that Gaia’s geo-physiology has evolved along particular pathways – it has a history, one which cannot be re-engineered, and one which could not have been designed to end up this way by some blind watchmaker. Thus, “Gaia is in its very fabric a narrative.” And we need “geostory” to understand how we can face Gaia.

Gaia as narrative fabricthat is music to my ears.







2 responses to “Bruno Latour’s Gifford Lectures are underway: “Facing Gaia””

  1. Reason & Existenz Avatar

    […] Bruno Latour's Gifford Lectures are underway: "Facing Gaia" (footnotes2plato.com) […]

  2. Responding to the Alt-Right – Footnotes2Plato Avatar

    […] identities, we are also rooted in the Earth, an expression of its multibillion year symbiogenetic geostorical adventure. Unless humans begin to take our earthbound nature seriously very soon, we will drive […]

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