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Friday, 10 October 2014

Syllabus for a future ecology that will be able to present itself as a politics

I´ve been finding myself discussing Latour´s predicament for a political ecology, stated in his Politics of Nature and assumed in the Enquiry (AIME). If one looks at the erratic history of some Green Parties around, it becomes clear that the ecological demands are not suited for the political institutions as they stand. Teaching Descola´s book makes me think of how politics is normally practiced - and of the several forms it excludes the non-human. Yesterday we were discussing totemism, and one of the translations of the word "totem", which is native from North America, is friend. It is interesting to consider nature from the point of view of philia: which non-human elements agree with me, where are my friends, who are the ones I form a frindship community with. (I´ll maybe write more about totemic nature as a space for non-human friendship.) That made me wonder about a syllabus for a future political ecology. I thought it should start with three foci, or three deconstructive efforts. First, as Latour himself claims, science studies. Second, as Latour tried to do, an anthropology of the moderns that tells us what really matter for them. Third, an anthropology of nature because after the first two, we are ready to let some received images of nature go. What else whould be in the syllabus?

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