Environmental Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 2, Fall 2016

David Maggs, John Robinson
Pages 175-194

Recalibrating the Anthropocene
Sustainability in an Imaginary World

Geologically speaking, the Anthropocene marks the end of the Holocene period, a time of great planetary stability. Conceptually speaking, the Anthropocene marks the end of the Modernist period, a time of great epistemic stability. As scientific framings of sustainability strain under anthro­pocenic realities, reconceptualizing sustainability may be necessary. By positioning human/nature relations beyond Modernist dichotomies under­pinning scientific discourse, the implications of the Anthropocene shift from methodological to ontological, dislodging sustainability from its traditional scientific foundations. To this, we propose new stability through four interlinked approaches to sustainability’s complex challenges, offering a framework for thought and action beyond Modernist framings of sustainability and opening essential roles to often-marginalized interpretive social sciences and humanities.

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