Philosophical post-anthropology for the Chthulucene: Levinasian and feminist new materialist perspectives in more-than-human crisis times

Evelien Geerts, Amarantha Groen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis—provoked by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that most likely jumped from a non-human host to humans in the fall of 2019, resulting in a full-blown pandemic thanks to the infrastructural interconnectedness of today’s globalized world—has had many devastating effects so far: from causing millions of human deaths and bodies plagued by long COVID symptoms, the compulsory culling of complete colonies of minks in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus, and the massive widening of pre-existing inequality gaps (see Braidotti 2020; Butler 2020), to a rather irony-filled situation in which extractive capitalism’s powers are now used against itself in the global race for vaccines instead of opting for more sustainable solutions. The crisis apparently left almost nothing of our lifeworld untouched. Even the end of the Anthropocene—Paul J. Crutzen’s (2006) notion for the geological era in which the environment has been affected by human technological, capitalist, and industrial interventions—is no longer a farfetched apocalyptic fantasy: the chances are high that potent SARS-CoV-2 mutations, a deadlier type of virus, or antibiotic-resisting bacteria will wreak havoc in the years to come, further laying bare the fragility of planetary life and the instrumentalizing ways in which humans have attempted to control—and hollow out—their natural milieus. Maybe Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer had a point when warning us in their Dialectic of the Enlightenment about the modern unstoppable quest for power/knowledge: we appear to be stuck in a capitalist regime of “calculating reason” (1997, p. 32) by blindly worshipping scientific positivism and capitalism’s—unfortunately only momentarily emancipatory—powers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
JournalInternationales Jahrbuch für Philosophische Anthropologie
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Continental philosophy
  • Political philosophy
  • Critical theory
  • Philosophical anthropology
  • Feminist theory
  • New materialisms
  • Critical posthumanism
  • Donna Haraway
  • Emmanuel Levinas
  • Rosi Braidotti
  • COVID - 19
  • Feminist philosophy

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