In Catastrophic Times

Resisting the Coming Barbarism

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Author: Isabelle Stengers

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781785420092

Category:

Page: 158

View: 9644

This book is addressed to everyone who is struggling and experimenting today, to everyone who is a true contemporary of what Stengers dares to call "the intrusion of Gaia," this "nature" that has left behind its traditional role and now has the power to question us all. In Catastrophic Times is neither a book of prophecy nor a survival guide. Here, Stengers reminds us that it falls to us to experiment with the apparatuses that make us capable of surviving without sinking into barbarism, to create what nourishes trust where panicked impotence threatens.

Hybrid Geographies

Natures Cultures Spaces

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Author: Sarah Whatmore

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1847876781

Category: Science

Page: 226

View: 8328

`Hybrid Geographies is one of the most original and important contributions to our field in the last 30 years. At once immensley provocative and productive, it is written with uncommon clarity and grace, and promises to breathe new life not only into geographical inquiry but into critical practice across the spectrum of the humanities and social sciences - and beyond. An extraordinary achievement' - Professor Derek Gregory, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia Hybrid Geographies critically examines the `opposition' between nature and culture, the material and the social, as represented in scientific, environmental and popular discourses. Demonstrating that the world is not an exclusively human achievement, Hybrid Geographies reconsiders the relation between human and non-human, the social and the material, showing how they are intimately and variously linked. General arguments - informed by work in critical geography, feminist theory, environmental ethics, and science studies - are illustrated throughout with detailed case-study material. This exemplifies the two core themes of the book: a consideration of hybridity (the human/non-human relation) and of the `fault-lines' in the spatial organization of society and nature. Hybrid Geographies is essential reading for students in the social sciences with an interest in nature, space and social theory.

Capitalist Sorcery

Breaking the Spell

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Author: Isabella Stengers,Phillipe Pignarre,Andrew Goffey

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 9780230237629

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 9264

An English translation of La Sorcellerie Capitaliste - a passionate but pragmatic critique in political philosophy. It diagnoses capitalism as a 'system of sorcery without sorcerers'. Capitalism paralyses us in ways that resembles sorcery and the book is concerned to look at ways we might defend ourselves against such a system.

John Woo's Bullet in the Head

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Author: Tony Williams

Publisher: Hong Kong University Press

ISBN: 9622099688

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 128

View: 8771

The film Bullet in the Head functions both as an apocalyptic melodrama and as an allegory of fears concerning the implications of the Tiananmen Square incident for Hong Kong residents. This book argues for its central importance as a major work of contemporary Hong Kong cinema.

Another Science is Possible

A Manifesto for Slow Science

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Author: Isabelle Stengers

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1509521828

Category: Science

Page: 220

View: 6589

Like fast food, fast science is quickly prepared, not particularly good, and it clogs up the system. Efforts to tackle our most pressing issues have been stymied by conflict within the scientific community and mixed messages symptomatic of a rushed approach. What is more, scientific research is being shaped by the bubbles and crashes associated with economic speculation and the market. A focus on conformism, competitiveness, opportunism and flexibility has made it extremely difficult to present cases of failure to the public, for fear that it will lose confidence in science altogether. In this bold new book, distinguished philosopher Isabelle Stengers shows that research is deeply intertwined with broader social interests, which means that science cannot race ahead in isolation but must learn instead to slow down. Stengers offers a path to an alternative science, arguing that researchers should stop seeing themselves as the 'thinking, rational brain of humanity' and refuse to allow their expertise to be used to shut down the concerns of the public, or to spread the belief that scientific progress is inevitable and will resolve all of society's problems. Rather, science must engage openly and honestly with an intelligent public and be clear about the kind of knowledge it is capable of producing. This timely and accessible book will be of great interest to students, scholars and policymakers in a wide range of fields, as well anyone concerned with the role of science and its future.

Tree Leaf Talk

A Heideggerian Anthropology

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Author: James F. Weiner

Publisher: Berg Publishers

ISBN: 9781859737217

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 1300

This is the first book to explore the relationship between Martin Heidegger's work and modern anthropology. Heidegger attracts much scholarly interest among social scientists, but few have explored his ideas in relation to current anthropological debates. The discipline's modernist foundations, the nature of cultural constructionism and of art ñ even what an anthropology of art must include ñ are all informed and illuminated by Heidegger's work. The author argues that many contemporary anthropologists, in their concern to return subjectivity and 'voice' to their interlocutors, neglect to recognize that language and other representational practices conceal the world and human subjectivity as much as reveal it. The author also suggests that Heidegger's critique of western technology provides the basis for a return to anthropology's sociological foundations. Emerging from over ten years of original research, and drawing on a rich knowledge of Australian and Melanesian ethnography, this book reassesses the underlying framework of modern and, particularly, visual anthropology. Innovative and provocative, it will be of interest to all anthropologists, philosophers and students of art and culture.

Parallax of Growth

The Philosophy of Ecology and Economy

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Author: Ole Bjerg

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 150950625X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 6512

Parallax of Growth explores the ideas of economy and ecology and the factors that have put them on a collision course. Bjerg argues that our current mode of economic organization is characterized by an inherent ï¿1⁄2debt driveï¿1⁄2, whereby the creation of money through the issuance of commercial bank credit has locked our economy into a vicious circle of forced growth and increasing debt. Parallax of Growth is not a catalogue of solutions to the ecological or the economic crisis. The book aims to shift the inquiry from ï¿1⁄2what shall we do?ï¿1⁄2 to ï¿1⁄2why have we not already done it?ï¿1⁄2 In order to address the challenges of our contemporary times of crisis, we need to understand how the idea of growth is deeply ingrained in the ideology as well as the organization of our society. The book aims to open the space for philosophical thinking about this important issue.

Flight Ways

Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction

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Author: Thom van Dooren

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231537441

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 8634

A leading figure in the emerging field of extinction studies, Thom van Dooren puts philosophy into conversation with the natural sciences and his ethnographic encounters to vivify the cultural and ethical significance of modern-day extinctions. Unlike other meditations on the subject, Flight Ways incorporates the particularities of real animals and their worlds, drawing philosophers, natural scientists, and general readers into the experience of living among and losing biodiversity. Each chapter of Flight Ways focuses on a different species or group of birds: North Pacific albatrosses, Indian vultures, an endangered colony of penguins in Australia, Hawaiian crows, and the iconic whooping cranes of North America. Written in eloquent and moving prose, the book takes stock of what is lost when a life form disappears from the world—the wide-ranging ramifications that ripple out to implicate a number of human and more-than-human others. Van Dooren intimately explores what life is like for those who must live on the edge of extinction, balanced between life and oblivion, taking care of their young and grieving their dead. He bolsters his studies with real-life accounts from scientists and local communities at the forefront of these developments. No longer abstract entities with Latin names, these species become fully realized characters enmeshed in complex and precarious ways of life, sparking our sense of curiosity, concern, and accountability toward others in a rapidly changing world.

Speculative Research

The Lure of Possible Futures

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Author: Alex Wilkie,Martin Savransky,Marsha Rosengarten

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134890702

Category: Social Science

Page: 254

View: 7304

Is another future possible? So called ‘late modernity’ is marked by the escalating rise in and proliferation of uncertainties and unforeseen events brought about by the interplay between and patterning of social–natural, techno–scientific and political-economic developments. The future has indeed become problematic. The question of how heterogeneous actors engage futures, what intellectual and practical strategies they put into play and what the implications of such strategies are, have become key concerns of recent social and cultural research addressing a diverse range of fields of practice and experience. Exploring questions of speculation, possibilities and futures in contemporary societies,?Speculative Research?responds to the pressing need to not only critically account for the role of calculative logics and rationalities in managing societal futures, but to develop alternative approaches and sensibilities that take futures seriously as possibilities and that demand new habits and practices of attention, invention, and experimentation.

Pantheologies

Gods, Worlds, Monsters

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Author: Mary-Jane Rubenstein

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231548346

Category: Religion

Page: 319

View: 7468

Pantheism is the idea that God and the world are identical—that the creator, sustainer, destroyer, and transformer of all things is the universe itself. From a monotheistic perspective, this notion is irremediably heretical since it suggests divinity might be material, mutable, and multiple. Since the excommunication of Baruch Spinoza, Western thought has therefore demonized what it calls pantheism, accusing it of incoherence, absurdity, and—with striking regularity—monstrosity. In this book, Mary-Jane Rubenstein investigates this perennial repugnance through a conceptual genealogy of pantheisms. What makes pantheism “monstrous”—at once repellent and seductive—is that it scrambles the raced and gendered distinctions that Western philosophy and theology insist on drawing between activity and passivity, spirit and matter, animacy and inanimacy, and creator and created. By rejecting the fundamental difference between God and world, pantheism threatens all the other oppositions that stem from it: light versus darkness, male versus female, and humans versus every other organism. If the panic over pantheism has to do with a fear of crossed boundaries and demolished hierarchies, then the question becomes what a present-day pantheism might disrupt and what it might reconfigure. Cobbling together heterogeneous sources—medieval heresies, their pre- and anti-Socratic forebears, general relativity, quantum mechanics, nonlinear biologies, multiverse and indigenous cosmologies, ecofeminism, animal and vegetal studies, and new and old materialisms—Rubenstein assembles possible pluralist pantheisms. By mobilizing this monstrous mixture of unintentional God-worlds, Pantheologies gives an old heresy the chance to renew our thinking.

Four Futures

Life After Capitalism

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Author: Peter Frase

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 178168815X

Category: Political Science

Page: 160

View: 2650

Capitalism is going to end Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail. Could the current rise of real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender’s Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth—but there’s no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of “likes,” wouldn’t rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Facing Gaia

Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime

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Author: Bruno Latour

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745684351

Category: Science

Page: 300

View: 4737

The emergence of modern sciences in the seventeenth century profoundly renewed our understanding of nature. For the last three centuries new ideas of nature have been continually developed by theology, politics, economics, and science, especially the sciences of the material world. The situation is even more unstable today, now that we have entered an ecological mutation of unprecedented scale. Some call it the Anthropocene, but it is best described as a new climatic regime. And a new regime it certainly is, since the many unexpected connections between human activity and the natural world oblige every one of us to reopen the earlier notions of nature and redistribute what had been packed inside. So the question now arises: what will replace the old ways of looking at nature? This book explores a potential candidate proposed by James Lovelock when he chose the name 'Gaia' for the fragile, complex system through which living phenomena modify the Earth. The fact that he was immediately misunderstood proves simply that his readers have tried to fit this new notion into an older frame, transforming Gaia into a single organism, a kind of giant thermostat, some sort of New Age goddess, or even divine Providence. In this series of lectures on 'natural religion,' Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.

New Dark Age

Technology, Knowledge and the End of the Future

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Author: James Bridle

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 178663547X

Category: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING

Page: 304

View: 5715

"We live in times of increasing inscrutability. Our news feeds are filled with unverified, unverifiable speculation, much of it automatically generated by anonymous software. As a result, we no longer understand what is happening around us. Underlying all of these trends is a single idea: the belief that quantitative data can provide a coherent model of the world, and the efficacy of computable information to provide us with ways of acting within it. Yet the sheer volume of information available to us today reveals less than we hope. Rather it heralds a new Dark Age: a world of ever-increasing incomprehension. In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle offers us a warning against the future in which the contemporary promise of a new technologically assisted enlightenment may just deliver its opposite: an age of complex uncertainty, predictive algorithms, surveillance, the hollowing out of empathy. Surveying the history of art, technology and information systems he reveals the dark clouds that gather over discussions of the digital sublime." --Publisher description.

Symptoms of the Planetary Condition

A Critical Vocabulary

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Author: Mercedes Bunz,Birgit Mara Kaiser,Kathrin Thiele

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783957960856

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 2294

This book explores the future of critique in view of our planetary condition. How are we to intervene in contemporary constellations of finance capitalism, climate change and neoliberalism? Think we must! To get to the symptoms, the book's 38 terms ranging from affect and affirmation to world and work provide the reader with a critical toolbox to be continued. Negativity, judgment and opposition as modes of critique have run out of steam. Critique as an attitude and a manner of enquiry has not.

Quantum Anthropologies

Life at Large

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Author: Vicki Kirby

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822350734

Category: Social Science

Page: 165

View: 4765

In Quantum Anthropologies, the renowned feminist theorist Vicki Kirby contends that some of the most provocative aspects of deconstruction have yet to be explored. Deconstruction’s implications have been curtailed by the assumption that issues of textuality and representation are specific to the domain of culture. Revisiting Derrida’s claim that there is “no outside of text,” Kirby argues that theories of cultural construction developed since the linguistic turn have inadvertently reproduced the very binaries they intended to question, such as those between nature and culture, matter and ideation, and fact and value. Through new readings of Derrida, Husserl, Saussure, Butler, Irigaray, and Merleau-Ponty, Kirby exposes the limitations of theories that regard culture as a second-order system that cannot access—much less be—nature, body, and materiality. She suggests ways of reconceiving language and culture to enable a more materially implicated outcome, one that keeps alive the more counterintuitive and challenging aspects of poststructural criticism. By demonstrating how fields, including cybernetics, biology, forensics, mathematics, and physics, can be conceptualized in deconstructive terms, Kirby fundamentally rethinks deconstruction and its relevance to nature, embodiment, materialism, and science.

Tropic of Chaos

Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

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Author: Christian Parenti

Publisher: Nation Books

ISBN: 1568586000

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 2755

An investigative journalist visits the economically and politically battered post-colonial nations around the earth's mid-latitudes and reveals how extreme weather in the era of climate change is breeding banditry, humanitarian crises and state failure.

Artistic Visions of the Anthropocene North

Climate Change and Nature in Art

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Author: Gry Hedin,Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315311879

Category: Art

Page: 170

View: 3432

In the era of the Anthropocene, artists and scientists are facing a new paradigm in their attempts to represent nature. Seven chapters, which focus on art from 1780 to the present that engages with Nordic landscapes, argue that a number of artists in this period work in the intersection between art, science, and media technologies to examine the human impact on these landscapes and question the blurred boundaries between nature and the human. Canadian artists such as Lawren Harris and Geronimo Inutiq are considered alongside artists from Scandinavia and Iceland such as J.C. Dahl, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Toril Johannessen, and Björk.

The Reader Over Your Shoulder

A Handbook for Writers of English Prose

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Author: Robert Graves

Publisher: RosettaBooks

ISBN: 0795350465

Category: Reference

Page: N.A

View: 9584

In late October 1939, Robert Graves wrote to Alan Hodge: “I have begun a new book, about English.” Graves and Hodge had recently completed a social history of the between-wars period called The Long Week-End. Now they embarked on this new project, “a handbook for writers of English Prose,” to be called The Reader Over Your Shoulder. The world was in total upheaval. Graves had already fled Majorca three years earlier at the start of the Spanish Civil War. As they labored over their new writing project, Graves and Hodge witnessed the fall of France and the evacuation of Allied forces at Dunkirk. In early September 1940 began the bombing of London by the German Luftwaffe, a concentrated effort to destroy the resolve of the English people. Graves’s and Hodge’s idea was simple enough: at a time when their whole world was falling apart, the survival of English prose sentences, of writing that was clear, concise, intelligible, had become paramount if hope were going to survive the onslaught. They came up with forty-one principles for writing, the majority devoted to clarity, the remainder to grace of expression. They studied the prose of a wide range of noted authors and leaders, finding much room for improvement. Quoting grammarian and bestselling author Patricia T. O’Conner from her new introduction, “With a new war to be won, the kingdom couldn’t afford careless, sloppy English. Good communication was critical.” The book they would write would turn out to be one of the most erudite, and at the same time one of the most spontaneous and inspired, ever to take on the challenge of writing well. O’Conner in her introduction describes The Reader Over Your Shoulder as nothing less than “the best book on writing ever published.” The present edition restores, for the first time in three-quarters of a century, the original, 1943, text, which in subsequent printings and editions had been shortened by over 150 pages, including much of the heart of the book.