Beyond the Anthropocene: The Regenerocene

I will be giving a presentation at the First Annual Conference of the European Culture and Technology Lab (9 and 10 December 2021). The theme of the conference is: Techne Logos and the (Neg) Anthropocene. Below is the abstract of my talk (admirative thanks to the organisers who accepted an abstract that criticises some of their core assumptions):

The Regenerocene: How Not To “Think Human First” in a Philosophically Healthy World

Is a “human-centered conception of technology” and “Thinking Human First”, as stated by the European Culture and Technology Lab+ (Mission and Vision Statements), a good strategy to prepare for a neganthropocenic (Stiegler & Ross 2018) future, one that would avoid the pitfalls of the anthropocene? At the heart of various contemporary European policies or research orientations is the idea of contributing to a “human-centered” world. For example, the European Parliament resolution of 20 October 2020 on intellectual property rights for the development of artificial intelligence technologies advocates “a human-centred approach to AI that is compliant with ethical principles and human rights” (para E.), thus incidentally closing the door of protections to anything that is not created by a human agent (Dias Pereira 2021). The idea that ethics has human-centered interactions as its exclusive subject matter has been such a blind spot of Western thinking that the term “anthropocentrism” has gained traction in English only since the 1970s (Norton 2013). In line with the posthuman and new materialist critique (Barad 2007; Barron 1995; Braidotti 2010; Coole & Frost 2010), I contend that the anthropocene could be overcome rather by letting go of our human obsession for our own species and instead adopt a less anthropocentric purpose, such as Think Earth FirstThink Life first, or, as I have been advocating: Think Creal First.

By “Creal” is meant the condition of possibility of the Real as ultimate processual flux of possibilizing (de Miranda 2017, 2021a, 2021b, 2021c). This hypothesis of a Creative Real or “whole onflow” (Andrews & Duff, 2020) as creatio continua is not new in philosophy. The idea that creation is an immanent multiversal flux is typical of process philosophies, both Western and Eastern: for example, in Heraclitus (Holm-Hadulla 2013, p. 297), Taoism (Yu 1981), Bergson (1911) or Whitehead for whom “Creativity is the universal of universals characterizing ultimate matter of fact.” (1929, p. 31). This “onto-generative” or regenerative notion of infrahuman creative becoming (Cheng 2018) suggests that a world ruled by analytic human-centered computers, anthropocentric algorithmic standards, human-focused pervasive norms, digital bureaucracy and other forms of “anthrobotics” (de Miranda, Ramamoorthy and Rovatsos 2016), can be a danger to our non-analytic (“crealectic”) relationship with the Other as ultimate possibility, a noodiverse form of thinking without which there might be no philosophical health and without which psychological and physical health are made problematic (de Miranda 2021a).

I will present in the second part of this paper the philosophical health program I have been conducting since 2019 within Vattenfall, a Swedish-based multinational with about 20,000 employees producing electricity for several European regions and committed to achieve fossil-free sources of energy and clean production by 2030. As philosophical practitioner, I conduct personalized dialogues and epistemic interviews based on deep listening, meaning-making and philosophical elucidation of beliefs, ideals and conceptual constellations. I am currently curating with Vattenfall a corporate aspiration to expand their “fossil-free within one generation” current vision towards a more ambitious and holistic “regenerative” mindset, the conceptual constellation of which shall be outlined in my paper.

References:

Andrews, G. J. & Duff, C. (2020). “Whole Onflow”, The Productive Event: An Articulation Through Health. Social Science & Medicine, 265; 113498.

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Barron, F. (1995). No rootless flower: An ecology of creativity. Cresskill: Hampton Press.

Bergson, H. (1911) Creative Evolution, New York: Holt & Co.

Braidotti, R. (2010). The Politics of “Life Itself” and New Ways of Dying. In D. Coole & S. Frost (eds.), New Materialisms: Ontolgy, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Cheng, C. Y. (2018). On the Ultimate as the Onto-Generative Origin in the Hengxian, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 45(3-4), 133–135. https://doiorg.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.1111/1540-6253.12376

Coole, D. & Frost, S., (eds.) (2010). New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Dias Pereira, A. L. (2021). A Copyright “Human-Centred” Approach to AI? GRUR International, 70 (4), pp. 323–4.

Holm-Hadulla, R. M. (2013). The Dialectic of Creativity: A Synthesis of Neurobiological, Psychological, Cultural and Practical Aspects of the Creative Process, Creativity Research Journal, 25:3, 293-299. https://DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2013.813792

de Miranda, L. (2016), Ramamoorthy, S. & Rovatsos, M. We, Anthrobot: Learning from Human Forms of Interaction and Esprit de Corps to Develop More Diverse Social Robotics, in What Social Robots Can and Should do. Amsterdam: IOS Press.de Miranda, L. (2017). On the Concept of Creal: The Politico-Ethical Horizon of a Creative Absolute, peer-reviewed chapter in The Dark Precursor: Deleuze and Artistic Research, ed. Paulo de Assis & Paolo Giudici. Louvain: Leuven University Press.

de Miranda, L. 2021a. Thinking into the Place of the Other: The Crealectic Approach to Philosophical Health and Care. International Journal of Philosophical Practice, vol 7 (1). https://www.pdcnet.org/wp/

de Miranda, L. (2021b). Five Principles of Philosophical Health: From Hadot to Crealectics. Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture. Vol 5, pp. 70–89.

de Miranda, L. 2021c. Crealectic Intelligence. In Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible (edited by Glaveanu, Vlad). Cham: Springer.

Norton, B. G. (2013). Anthropocentrism. In International Encyclopedia of Ethics, H. Lafollette (Ed.). https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee075

Stiegler, B. & Ross, D. (2018). The Neganthropocene. London: Open Humanities Press.

Whitehead, A. N. (1929). Process and Reality. New York: MacMillan.

Yu, D. C. (1981) The Creation Myth and Its Symbolism in Classical Taoism, Philosophy East and West, 31(4), 479–500. https://doi-org.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.2307/1398794

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Luis de Miranda

Crealectician, PhD, author, philosophical counselor

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