Environmental Philosophy

Volume 17, Issue 1, Spring 2020

Climate Change and the Task of Thinking

Nancy Tuana
Pages 101-123

From a Lifeboat Ethic to Anthropocenean Sensibilities

To claim that “humans have become a geological agent,” to worry that “humans are interrupting, refashioning, and accelerating natural processes” is to reinforce metaphysical divides—humans and nature, the cultural and the natural. It is furthermore to reinforce all the narratives from which these divides are animated: modernity, colonialization, enlightenment with their attendant discourses of progress, control, and purity. In its place I advocate Anthropocenean sensibilities. Sensibilities in which our attentiveness to influences and exchanges becomes heightened, where we learn to live in the midst of change, with a new responsiveness to uncertainties that render not-knowing animating rather than paralyzing.