Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Underground Ecocriticism Liveblog 14

Gillian Barker and Eric Desjardins, “Philosophy and the Environment.”
Barker's talk here, then Desjardins in the next post. 
Barker is your actual philosopher. Fantastic.  
Background of relationship between science and philosophy. This has shaped and constrained environmental philosophy in important ways. 
We started with logical positivism: the Manifesto of the Vienna Circle, The Scientific Conception of the World (1929).
There are no depths in science, surface everywhere. What was omitted was the hidden, the organic, the subterranean, the negative: omitting metaphysics, activity, purpose, emotion and unconscious, ignorance and irrationality
These things were not talked about and were actively excluded in the C20
And yet the scientiic world conception can be more vigorous: the spirit of the sci conception grows. 
Nice Joef Frank design 1930 (kitschy, non-avant garde)
New ideas but also rise of national socialism
Scientistic philosophy as how to develop the rational solutions
What was hidden by them, and what they were trying to do. Defending teh core tenets of logical empiricism from dangerous threats eg Latour!
In ethics, the rise of the trolley problem
In philosphical treatments of action: rational choice theory. 
None of this seems conducive to ecological thought
Nor indeed the massive ethical, political and epistemological problems
The ecophilosophy has a feeling of not allowing us to get at the real problems (eg Naess, Sessions, Callicott)
so we might also need: rediscovering the depths: 
The hidden--metaphysics, causes, values
The organic--activity, purpose
The subterranean--emotion, unconscious
The negative--ignorance, irrationality
A naturalistic project, is how she thinks this. 
Finally we are beginning to overcome the Analytic/Continental divide
A huge step forward
And the rise of naturalism
learning from science and also from failures of logical empiricism
you can't do anything without metaphysics and values!
Metaphysics is all over the place now; and the active role of ignorance

let's consider...
The alien worm invasion problem!
There are no extant species of earthworms that are native to North America; all are alien and bad news! This has only been known about 13 years. Biological Invasions 2001 essay. 
Ecological surprises can come from large pieces of factual ignorance
What is invisible and why? 
The best thing you can do is hand pick them! And good luck!

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