With his 1962 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kuhn launched the concept of paradigm shift which could be applied to a variety of historical cultural changes as well as desired future ones.
To recover the care of nature, Panikkar proposes ‘ecosophy’ as the solution that will allow us to pay attention again to the wisdom of the planet.
French philosopher Bruno Latour died earlier this month at age 75. Of the many insights I absorbed from his work I mention four here:
1. Nature and culture are not two things; they are one.
2. Facts require champions
3. Nature sits in the middle of our politics.
4. There are no “objects” just networks.
As ecological consciousness grows more thinkers are putting forth holistic interpretations of the world which tackle the age-old problem of the one and the many that poses the two questions: how can a thing with many parts be one and how can there be many things of one kind?
The truth is that in a more-than-human world, nothing exists in isolation. Humans may share this world with non-humans, but by the same token, stones share it with non-stones, trees with non-trees and mountains with non-mountains.
The Pandemic Armchair Philosophy Blog welcomes the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 crisis, but a “return to normal” should refocus us on a long list of global climate emergencies, social injustices, and tottering democratic institutions.
We are having worldwide fight not over our view of “the facts”, but over what constitutes “the facts.” It has ever been thus, philosopher Paul Feyeraband tells us. It’s just that now that fight is breaking out into the open and disrupting our lives and our institutions without a clear way to resolve it.
Voltaire gives readers a glimpse of the overwhelming weight of the universe and the worst abuses imagined by human beings. And he does it in a way that we can hold them in our hands, smile at their absurdities, remain fortified against their eventualities, and work to plant and grow new ideas and systems…
Ecommunitarianism is based on three basic ethical standards logically deduced from the question that Ethics sets out, that is to say, What should I do?
How do we live wise and virtuous lives with all of our human frailties laid bare by a pandemic? Hume, I think, would answer: with others, with humor and kindness, and with constant checks on the assumptions and certainties we hold too tightly and too often in opposition to others, be they viral or human.
What better time to step back and consider alternatives, to review those hidden assumptions about success, happiness and work-life balance, and to do some of the deep thinking that philosophy is famously known and occasionally ridiculed for?
It’s hard to take much comfort in our collective cultural and institutional experience with thinking through the kind of pandemic we now confront. Nor do we seem to have anything as valuable and practical as a paddle with which to leverage our movement out of the hole we’ve fallen into.