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Mother Earth, Mother City: Abjection and the Anthropocene

Mother Earth, Mother City: Abjection and the Anthropocene Janell Watson If the term "Anthropocene" designates the global influence of the human species over its terrestrial habitat, then its arrival profoundly changes a number of relations that have long occupied Western philosophy: that between humans and animals; between humans and nature; and between humans and their technologies. The possibility that humans have transformed not only the biology but also the geology of the earth brings to the forefront the physical world, whose corporeal materiality was all but ignored by mid-twentieth-century continental philosophy, focused almost exclusively on language and politics. As Michel Serres put it in 1990, "Our a-cosmic philosophies, for almost half a century now, have been holding forth only on language or politics, writing or logic" (1995b, 29). Technicians and scientists have created a new world, observes Serres, while philosophers act as if they still live in the old one (2001, 4). By the time Paul Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer formally introduced the term "Anthropocene" in 2000 (Crutzen and Steffen, 2003), Serres had developed a philosophy for the new human-dominated techno-scientific world. It is true that the physical world has in the meanwhile reappeared in continental philosophy thanks to object-oriented philosophy and various new materialisms, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png philoSOPHIA suny_press

Mother Earth, Mother City: Abjection and the Anthropocene

philoSOPHIA , Volume 5 (2) – Feb 3, 2015

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State University of New York Press
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Copyright © State University of New York Press
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2155-0905
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Abstract

Janell Watson If the term "Anthropocene" designates the global influence of the human species over its terrestrial habitat, then its arrival profoundly changes a number of relations that have long occupied Western philosophy: that between humans and animals; between humans and nature; and between humans and their technologies. The possibility that humans have transformed not only the biology but also the geology of the earth brings to the forefront the physical world, whose corporeal materiality was all but ignored by mid-twentieth-century continental philosophy, focused almost exclusively on language and politics. As Michel Serres put it in 1990, "Our a-cosmic philosophies, for almost half a century now, have been holding forth only on language or politics, writing or logic" (1995b, 29). Technicians and scientists have created a new world, observes Serres, while philosophers act as if they still live in the old one (2001, 4). By the time Paul Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer formally introduced the term "Anthropocene" in 2000 (Crutzen and Steffen, 2003), Serres had developed a philosophy for the new human-dominated techno-scientific world. It is true that the physical world has in the meanwhile reappeared in continental philosophy thanks to object-oriented philosophy and various new materialisms,

Journal

philoSOPHIAsuny_press

Published: Feb 3, 2015

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