The Three Tomorrows of Postnormal Times

The Three Tomorrows of Postnormal Times 1 Introduction</h5> ‘Everything changes and nothing stands still’. So said Heraclitus, as reported by Plato in Cratylus (402a), over two millennia ago ( Sedley, 2003 ). But nowadays everything is changing at an accelerating pace on a variety of scales: social, political, cultural, technological, including geologic, as the emergence of the notion of the Anthropocene ( Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000 ) or the more radical concept of the Technopocene ( Berthon & Donnellan, 2011 ; Sweeney, 2014 ) suggests. On a smaller, yet interrelated, scale, the very idea of what is the human body and what it means to be human is changing in ways seemingly beyond our control and capacity to comprehend the implications for what might lie ahead. As Enriquez and Gullans argue in Evolving Ourselves , we are intentionally and unintentionally changing the very conditions of possibility for evolution. While we have always adapted our being-in-the-world through artefacts, tools, and prosthetics, the compounded effects of our all-too-modern lives have ushered in an era of ‘ unnatural selection ’ and ‘non-random mutation’ ( Enriquez & Gullans, 2015 ). Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled from 1980 to 2014 ( World Health Organization, 2015 ). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Futures Elsevier

The Three Tomorrows of Postnormal Times

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Abstract

1 Introduction</h5> ‘Everything changes and nothing stands still’. So said Heraclitus, as reported by Plato in Cratylus (402a), over two millennia ago ( Sedley, 2003 ). But nowadays everything is changing at an accelerating pace on a variety of scales: social, political, cultural, technological, including geologic, as the emergence of the notion of the Anthropocene ( Crutzen & Stoermer, 2000 ) or the more radical concept of the Technopocene ( Berthon & Donnellan, 2011 ; Sweeney, 2014 ) suggests. On a smaller, yet interrelated, scale, the very idea of what is the human body and what it means to be human is changing in ways seemingly beyond our control and capacity to comprehend the implications for what might lie ahead. As Enriquez and Gullans argue in Evolving Ourselves , we are intentionally and unintentionally changing the very conditions of possibility for evolution. While we have always adapted our being-in-the-world through artefacts, tools, and prosthetics, the compounded effects of our all-too-modern lives have ushered in an era of ‘ unnatural selection ’ and ‘non-random mutation’ ( Enriquez & Gullans, 2015 ). Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled from 1980 to 2014 ( World Health Organization, 2015 ).

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FuturesElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2016

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