Three interpretations of the Anthropocene

Hope and anxiety at the end of nature

  • Darrel Moellendorf
Keywords: Anthropocene, prediction, prospection, hope

Abstract

After a short introduction into the recent discourse on the Anthropocene, I will discuss three different interpretations of the Anthropocene: the Anthropocene as promethean, as destruction and as inegalitarian. These interpretations cannot simply be settled by the facts since they concern the direction in which things might develop. Therefore, I will argue, they are not mere predictions based on theoretical reason. Because of the very fact that they are bound up with fundamental human interests and human moral concerns, they involve prospection based on practical reason and prospection is itself deeply associated with hope. The final part of my paper aims to show that we are justified to hold hope in the epoch of the Anthropocene.

Published
2018-05-21
Section
SPECIAL TOPIC: PHILOSOPHICAL CHALLENGES OF THE ANTHROPOCENE