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Earthlings Against Latour!

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Crowley, Martin 


If the Anthropocene describes human activity as a distinctive geophysical force, this activity has simultaneously emerged as enmeshed with the actions of all kinds of other beings. What are the consequences of this for an understanding of political agency? Should this be reserved for human beings, to underpin effective action in the face of ecological emergency? Or should this belief in human exceptionality itself be considered a factor in producing this emergency – in which case, should we expand our sense of meaningful agency to embrace the conjoint action of all manner of beings? This article addresses this question via a critical analysis of Bruno Latour’s account of the confrontations that characterize the Anthropocene. If Latour consciously mobilizes the language of war to describe these confrontations, the article argues that his writings repeatedly occlude the reality of the conflicts he invokes. After exploring other recent models of geo-political agency, the article concludes by proposing a model of political agency as both decisive and ontologically distributed: as not only ecologically plural, but also robust enough to fight for this plurality in the conflicts of the Anthropocene.



4702 Cultural Studies, 4705 Literary Studies, 47 Language, Communication and Culture, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 5003 Philosophy

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Informa UK Limited


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