Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Critical Climate Change)

Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Critical Climate Change)

Joanna Zylinska

Language: English

Pages: 154

ISBN: 1607853299

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene considers our human responsibility for the world, at a time when life finds itself under a unique threat. Its goal is to rethink “life” and what we can do with it, in whatever time we have left—as individuals and as a species. This speculative, poetic book also includes a photographic project by the author.

















even contiguity, or postulate an inassimilable difference, between the two types of evolution, and, more broadly, between biology and culture, I want to suggest, yet again, that we turn instead to ethical questions that the debate opens before us. Indeed, the problem with the big history approach is not that it takes us beyond the realm of the human to look at larger scales but rather that that it naturalizes (in a straightforwardly humanist manner) the concept of complexity across cities and

conscience’” (Swirski 114). Such pessimism and sorrow about the human condition is obviously a familiar trope in both philosophy and literature. Yet we have to distinguish here between the pessimistic view of the human as encapsulated by many metaphysical narratives, including those of the dominant religions, whereby man is suffering from some kind of original sin or some other innate fault that predisposes him to doing evil, and the more skeptical-realist argument, which evaluates human faults

politics with the “mindless catechism” (2001: liii) or “moral terrorism” of contemporary culturalist ethical discourses, which in fact serve Western capitalism and its many institutions, where “goodness” itself becomes a good to be traded in. The multiplicity of “the world” becomes reduced to the knowable sequence of important human (and increasingly nonhuman) others, such as “animals”, with their particularist struggles being prioritized in terms of bigger and lesser oppression. As a result of

man Yoda, inStar Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back: “Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter”. Crude matter is clearly the opposite of life here; it is seen as something that needs an external intervention, a spark, an intelligence, or perhaps just an injection of Craig Venter’s capital, to make it alive. In this famous opera of cosmic good and evil, crude matter is presented as just crude: inert, unintelligent, dead. Yet

becoming and a fracturing process. Claire Colebrook articulates this dual, productive-destructive tendency of life, in the following terms: “Philosophy cannot simply decide to begin from ground zero; nor can the living being become so open and receptive to its milieu that it would not inflect, pervert or fold its passions around its own life. Immanence is an ongoing struggle, and the aims of becoming-imperceptible, seeing the world anew or becoming-child are given force and power just through the

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