Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall 2019
Kalpita Bhar Paul
A Heideggerian Perspective on Thinking about Water
Revisiting the Transition from Hydrology to Hydrosocial Nexus
It is said that the transition from hydrology to the hydrosocial system has the potential for transforming the way currently water is seen as a natural object. The hydrosocial cycle denotes that we need to think about water beyond the definition of natural objects as the meaning of water emerges from the socio-cultural-political nexus it is embedded in. In this essay by drawing upon Martin Heidegger’s philosophy, I explore whether this transition is capable of changing the way we think about water. To philosophically capture the status of water and the thinking that is associated with it in this transitional moment, I engage with the notion of inceptual thinking, examining its possibilities within the context of this transition. My deliberation will establish that even though the hydrosocial cycle provides us with a unique space and opportunity from which to initiate inceptual thinking about water, the present orientation of hydrosocial scholarship fails to accomplish this objective. I further argue that the possibility to initiate an inceptual thinking arises from the rupture in our thinking, and our empathy toward the ‘in-between’ space of the actor and the thing. This inceptual thinking would lead toward understanding thing as gathering.