The contemporary climatic situation is as urgent as it is frustrated. The pace of movement on international agreements, public opinion and national legislation is at odds with the time frames suggested by many scientific estimates. In this context it seems vital to seek new philosophical resources for responding to the sciences of the climate. Quentin Meillassoux's philosophy is appropriate for this task for two reasons. Firstly, he believes that what he calls "speculative materialism" is a new system of thought. Its philosophical novelty may open up new possibilities for relating to science and to the environment. Secondly, the novelty of his approach emerges out of the broad narrative he winds around contemporary paradigms of thought, the conventional background against which he wants to make his mark (he is largely concerned with philosophy, but this story easily spans other humanities disciplines and the social sciences too). Just as one might assert oneself philosophically against such a framing of the status quo, so a politics of climate may be aided from better diagnosis of the contemporary situation, the obstacles and assets of the landscape through which it is to be accomplished. I use this paper to expand Meillassoux's argument towards
symploke – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 22, 2013
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