Ecognosis: For a Logic of Future Coexistence
The ecological era we find ourselves in—whether we like it or not, and whether we recognize it or not—makes necessary a searching revaluation of philosophy, politics and art.
The very idea of being “in” an era is up for question. We are “in” the Anthropocene, but that era is also “in” a moment of far longer duration.
What is the present? How can it be thought? What, going further, is presence?
These lectures will explore the fact that ecological awareness forces us to think and feel at multiple scales, scales that disorient normative concepts such as “present,” “life,” “human,” “nature,” “thing,” “thought,” “logic,” and so on.
I shall argue there are layers of attunement to ecological reality that are more accurate than what is habitual in the media, in the academy, and in society at large.
This attunement is necessarily weird, a precise term that we shall explore in depth. It involves the sorts of hermeneutical knowingness belonging to the practices that the Humanities maintain.
The attunement, which I call ecognosis, implies a practical yet highly non-standard vision of what ecological politics could be.
In part, ecognosis involves realizing that nonhumans are installed at profound levels of the human—not just biologically and socially, but in the very structure of thought and logic. Coexisting with these nonhumans is ecological thought, art, ethics and politics.
[Longtime readers: as you will note, this project is no longer called Dark Ecology. That's not because I've dropped that reference frame. I've just come to realize that the frame is a region within a much bigger possibility space I'm calling ecognosis. There will be all the dark-ecological concepts here, and more of them.]