BSP Podcast: Pasi Heikkurinen – Ecophenomenosophy in the Anthropocene

podcast update

Season two of our podcast continues with another presentation from the British Society for Phenomenology Annual Conference 2017 in Brighton.

Season 2 episode 39: 25 July 2018

This recording is of Pasi Heikkurinen’s presentation ‘Ecophenomenosophy: A Response to the Anthropocene’. You can listen to this episode on the BSP’s Podbean site, and you can also find it on iTunes and all good podcasting apps by searching ‘BSP Podcast’.

Abstract: “According to Earth sciences, the planet has entered a new geological epoch. This epoch, referred to as the Anthropocene, is characterised by a significant human impact on nature and its processes. While humans have not equally contributed to the destruction of the non-human world, the dominance of this species calls for questioning the contemporary human condition. What is (now) wrong with ‘us’? The on-going widespread damage caused to the natural world, including the humankind, dates back (at least) to Industrial Revolution. The 19th century transition to new manufacturing processes and its existential relevance is well captured in Heidegger’s critique of technology. Heidegger notes that, in its essence, modern technology is a mode of revealing (Gestell) that takes humans further away from being itself. Albeit successful in challenging the technological frame of the modern human, classic phenomenology, however, does not provide tangible alternatives to think about being in also ecological terms. This paper argues that in order to respond to the undesired anthropogenic changes in the Earth’s biosphere – e.g. rising greenhouse gas levels, ocean acidification, deforestation and biodiversity deterioration – phenomenology needs to go ‘green’. In the Anthropocene, investigations on the human condition cannot be separated from (the question of) nature and its non-human processes. Dasein is not only connected to nature but also embedded in it, as well as unfolding from it. In this paper, I will conjoin elements of (mainly late) Heidegger’s phenomenology with some key tenets of ecophilosophical thinking to reconsider the human place vis-à-vis the rest of nature. As a response to the problems of the Anthropocene, I will outline an ‘ecophenomenosophy’ that rejects human–nature dualism, challenges the idea of progress, and calls for a non-anthropocentric approach to phenomena in the age of humans.”

The British Society for Phenomenology’s Annual Conference took place at the University of Brighton, UK during September, 2017. It gathered together philosophers, literary scholars, phenomenologists, and practitioners exploring phenomenological theory and its practical application. It covered a broad range of areas and issues including the arts, ethics, medical humanities, mental health, education, technology, feminism, politics and political governance, with contributions throwing a new light on both traditional phenomenological thinkers and the themes associated with classical phenomenology. More information about the conference can be found here.