The notion of “Anthropocene” is widely debated in the humanities and social sciences, for the idea of a “new era” constitutes an engaging theoretical “battlefield”. Yet, as pointed out by Erle C. Ellis (Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction) the Anthropocene represents far more than just another interval of geologic time: a whole set of new and old questions, issues, concepts and frameworks about the relationship between humans and nature are included in this “powerful new narrative”. Similar to the concept of “globalisation”, the “Anthropocene” is an “evolving paradigm” able to reshape science, stimulate the humanities and show the moulding of the global world by humans.
If the term “Anthropocene” signifies the era of the arrival of human beings as a force that affects global ecosystems in ways that are potentially disastrous for humanity itself, as well as for countless other species (The Task of Philosophy in the Anthropocene. Axial Echoes in Global Space), then we have to ask ourselves what do to in order to prevent disaster. As stated by the contributors to the volume, “the task of philosophy” in the current global situation is both theoretical and practical. Only by understanding this duty is it possible to influence globalisation to become more equitable and sustainable (Moral Pressure for Responsible Globalization. Religious Diplomacy in the Age of the Anthropocene).
Furthermore, this attitude could help us understand the “crises” we perceive. As affirmed by Alessandro Ricci, “uncertainty” is a fundamental tile of globalisation, and the precariousness we live in has its roots in early modernity,when the medieval frameworks declined due to the rise of a “global mindset” (La geografia dell’incertezza. Crisi di un modello e della sua rappresentazione in età moderna).That is, the crisis itself (social, environmental, political, economic etc.) exhibits the necessity of a change of perspective. For example, politically speaking, the question whether democracy as suchis in crisis – as well as the analysis of the challenges of democracy and their potential transformation into crisis phenomena (Democracy and Crisis. Challenges in Turbulent Times) –, refuses the simplistic equation between “crisis” and “failure”. Speaking of democracy andcrisis, instead of the “crisis ofdemocracy” means accepting the possibility that the relationship between democracy and crisis could open up to different and interesting potentialities. That is to say, within and beyond the “crisis” it is possible to think in new ways about the relationships between humans, and between humans and nature.
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A. Ricci (2018), La geografia dell’incertezza. Crisi di un modello e della sua rappresentazione in età moderna(Roma: Exorma).
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