Tag Archive: ecophilosophy

Ecologies of the Moving Image is a book of ecophilosophy that happens to be about cinema, and about the 12-decade history of cinema at that.

What makes it ecophilosophy? It is philosophy that is deeply informed both by an understanding of ecological science and an interdisciplinary appreciation for today’s ecological crisis.

Why cinema?

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CFP: Thinking & Acting Ecologically

The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) presents the Tenth Annual Meeting on Environmental Philosophy, to be held 12-14th of June 2013 at The University of East Anglia, UK.

“Thinking and Acting Ecologically”

The ISEE invites submissions on any topic in environmental philosophy / ecophilosophy broadly conceived. The focus of the tenth annual meeting will be on developing ideas and concepts that are not only thematically concerned with the environment but are themselves contributions to ecological action.

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“Ultimately, the thinking of speculative pragmatism that is activist philosophy belongs to nature. Its aesthetico-politics compose a nature philosophy. The occurrent arts in which it exhibits itself are politics of nature.

“The one-word summary of its relational-qualitative goings on: ecology. Activist philosophy concerns the ecology of powers of existence. Becomings in the midst. Creative change taking place, self-enjoying, humanly or no, humanly and more.”

These two short paragraphs close the Introduction to Brian Massumi’s recent, and thoroughly Whiteheadian, book Semblance and Event. They serve as a good epigraph to what I’d like to discuss here, which is the “neo-Whiteheadian wave” I see arising in cultural theory and its connections to ecology and to “speculative realism” (which, in Massumi’s hands, becomes speculative pragmatism; the differences are worth exploring).

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My paper for this year’s Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, coming up next month in Boston, will focus on the two films that got a lot of side-by-side attention at last year’s Cannes festival, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Since a few of my favorite bloggers have also discussed them side by side, I thought I’d share my preliminary thoughts about them here.

The two films play a key role in the final chapter of my (forthcoming) Ecologies of the Moving Image, but as I’m still thinking these themes through, I will be interested in responses I get at the SCMS (or here).

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In defiance of the idea that Nature — the thing, or the idea (capitalized or not), or both — is either dead or unnecessary, I feel like posting some favorite passages from “Nature Alive,” the second of A. N. Whitehead’s two 1933 lectures on nature, published in Modes of Thought (1938/1968), which you can read the full text of online.

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I’d like to call a moratorium on the use of the word “constructivism” (or “constructionism”) to refer only to social constructivism.

(This post was prompted by Tim  Morton’s Object-Oriented Strategies for Ecological Art, but his point there is somewhat differently directed and mine addresses a more general issue that can still be found in a lot of writing in social and ecological theory, and which concerns what’s at stake when we speak of “constructivism.”)

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The IAEP picks a nice image for this conference…

Spirit tracks on Mars

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue of Environmental Philosophy

THEME: Temporal Environments: Rethinking Time and Ecology

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repetition with (slight) difference

Just a few quick responses to Levi Bryant. Levi writes:

1) entities are nonetheless patterned or structured despite their becoming, 2) they are unities, and 3) they cannot be submerged in or exhausted by their relations. Relations can always be detached. Objects can always enter into new relations. [. . .] if you hold that entities are constituted by their relations then you lose that excess by which it is possible to account for how anything new can enter the world.

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Process-relational theory primer

One of the tasks of this blog, since its inception in late 2008, has been to articulate a theoretical-philosophical perspective that I have come to call “process-relational.” This is a theoretical paradigm and an ontology that takes the basic nature of the world to be that of relational process: that is, it understands the basic constituents of the world to be events of encounter, acts or moments of experience that are woven together to constitute the processes by which all things occur, unfold, and evolve. Understanding ourselves and our relations with the world around us in this way, it is argued, can help us unwind ourselves from out of a set of dualisms that have ensnared modern thought over the last few centuries. In contrast to materialist, idealist, dualist, and other perspectives that have dominated modern western philosophy, a process-relational perspective more explicitly recognizes the dynamic, complex, systemic, and evolving nature of reality.

What follows is a brief summary of the process-relational perspective. It is followed by some bibliographic starting points and by a list of links to some of the more substantive posts on this blog that have dealt with process-relational theory.

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