Environmental Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring 2012

Michelle Bastian
Pages 23-48

Fatally Confused
Telling the Time in the Midst of Ecological Crises

Focusing particularly on the role of the clock in social life, this article explores the conventions we use to “tell the time.” I argue that although clock time generally appears to be an all-encompassing tool for social coordination, it is actually failing to coordinate us with some of the most pressing ecological changes currently taking place. Utilizing philosophical approaches to performativity to explore what might be going wrong, I then draw on Derrida’s and Haraway’s understandings of social change in order to suggest a fairly unconventional, but perhaps more accurate, mode of reckoning time in the context of climate change, resource depletion, and mass extinctions.