9th Annual Bassett Lecture: Professor Didier Debaise - 'A Perspectivist Universe. From Naturalism to Perspectivism in contemporary philosophy'

21 January 2019, 4.30 PM - 21 January 2019, 6.00 PM

Professor Didier Debaise

Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences

9th Annual Bassett Lecture: Professor Didier Debaise - 'A Perspectivist Universe. From Naturalism to Perspectivism in contemporary philosophy'

Abstract

My starting assumption is the following: ‘the moderns’ have invented a concept of nature in order to inhabit the earth, thus identifying two things that should, without a doubt, have been strictly separated. It seems to me that this hypothesis can serve as a guide which accentuates an ensemble of transformations which have been developing over the past few decades, starting with operations of reciprocal capture between anthropology and metaphysics concerning the subject of the various ways of inhabiting the earth. It has today become paramount to question the particularly modern invention of nature, not only because it defines the status and function of the main categories at the basis of modern thought and its contemporary heritage – even when they are not explicitly concerned with nature – but also because it constitutes a necessary condition for reflecting upon the consequences linked to the “new climatic regime”. I will proceed in two steps: first, I will establish a genealogy of the constitution of nature and its effects; second, I will proceed to setting up another manner for the articulation of beings, another metaphysics that can be qualified as perspectivist.

Didier Debaise is a permanent researcher at the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and the Director of the Centre of Philosophy at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), where he teaches contemporary philosophy. He is the co-founder, with Isabelle Stengers, of the Groupe d’Études Constructivistes (GECO). His main areas of research are contemporary forms of speculative philosophy, theories of events, and links between American pragmatism and French contemporary philosophy. He is director of a collection at 'Les presses du réel', and a member of the editorial board of the journals Multitudes and Inflexions. Of his many books, two have recently been translated into English: 'Nature as Event' (Duke University Press, 2017) and 'Speculative Empiricism' (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

The Bassett Lecture is held every year in honour of Dr Keith Bassett, a critical geographer and long-time Senior Lecturer at the School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol. Though formally retired, Dr Bassett continues to write, teach, and contribute to the intellectual life of the School and University. The lecture series recognizes Dr Bassett's work and contributions in the fields of social and geographical theory, critical geographies of political economy, urbanism, social movements and social justice, political ecology, and critical socio-legal studies.

For enquiries contact: George Burdon, Ollie Dawson or Theo Parker.

Professor Didier Debaise

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