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

Philosophy in a Time of Emergency

Over the last month, half the global population of saiga antelope dropped dead in northern Kazakstan. This is what mass extinction looks like.

antelope-dead-phys-org-62015 Sudden-mass-deaths-of-rare-Saiga-antelopes-in-Kazakhstan-raise-concern

I read about the antelope die off this morning, just after reading Adam/Knowledge-Ecology‘s and Craig Hickman/darkecologies‘ posts about Whitehead’s call for Cosmology to replace Critique. I do believe the two, Whitehead’s call and mass extinction, are related. The latter makes it clear that the world is not simply the transcendental projection of the human subject. It also makes it clear that human thinking nonetheless has a real effect on how the world is constituted. We have entered the Anthropocene, meaning (among other things) that a certain form of thinking has brought about a mass extinction on planet Earth. 







4 responses to “Philosophy in a Time of Emergency”

  1. mary9macrina Avatar

    ” Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science (16 January 2015). The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen).”…http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/research/research-news/1-15-2015-planetary-boundaries-2.0—new-and-improved.html

  2. Bart Segall Avatar
    Bart Segall

    very sad

  3. Thomas Matus Avatar

    Matt, we agree that philosophy is not an ivory-tower pastime. In fact it is (or should be) a healing art. We humans need right thinking, in order to have right intentions regarding our planet and universe (indeed, in order to survive).

  4. louisbrassard Avatar

    I agree that we are entering a collapse phase in our type of interaction with the planet. This was predicted a long time ago, exponential growth of the type capitalist created have to find some physical limits, now we are entering the time where these limits are met. Although it will rapidly become obvious not only to some visionaries that there is a problem, a real one, in such a time of collapse, in apocalyptic type of time, usually rationality do not increase but collectively decrease. Before a war, it is not usually the most logical course of action that is taken but the course of action that those that channel the collective panic. Each time a catastrophic event happen, a collective panic rise and those best position to channel it towards their agenda, they are the one who win. The shock doctrine. So pushing further on the accelerator in the catastrophic direction.
    Regards, Louis

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: