With/In Environments: Reimagining Frameworks and Practices for Environmental Philosophy--Graduate Student Conference

April 14, 2022 - April 16, 2022
Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research

6 E 16th Street
New York
United States

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CUNY Graduate Center

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Since Plato, western philosophy has been set down a path paved by a disavowal of the sensuous, bracketed material bodies, and delimited aesthetic conceptions, leaving human beings and their built environments separated from the natural world. Such exclusions have left philosophy ill-equipped to deal with the various environmental crises we currently face, as economic rationality and utilitarian logic further de-animate the world and sharpen the human/nature distinction. Even the concept “environment” often, and ironically, brings with it implicit anthropocentric assumptions, conceptualizing, and thereby separating, the human as independent from the surrounding world and reinforcing the human/nature divide. As a result, our (mis)understandings of “nature” and “environment” may make us insensitive to and perpetuate, rather than address, climate change and other environmental catastrophes. To avoid ambiguities and clarify our understanding, we must ask: what role does Nature play within our theories and practices concerning so-called Environmental Philosophy? Furthermore, what spaces, practices, and questions are made possible when we broaden our understanding of “environment” to include a more robust conceptualization of the natural world and how the human being ought to be contextualized within it? 

This conference asks how we might reorient the language and practices of philosophy in a way that can enable us to adequately respond to ongoing environmental crises. As a starting point, we propose a need to reimagine the concepts “human,” “nature,” and “environment,” as well as the reciprocal relations that constitute them. To recognize humans as natural organisms, we must reevaluate the sensuous, the material, and the aesthetic and the roles they play in our attempts to construct, understand, and preserve our environment(s). How should we make sense of our practices and our relations to those with whom we share our surroundings? How can we re-situate the human with/in the environment? Do we have the right tools to guide these investigations? How might philosophy look beyond itself—to literature, architecture, music, film, design—to better bring Environment, and thus the world, into view? In the spirit of this, we invite paper as well as project submissions from current graduate students in any discipline.

Conference website: https://withinenvironments2022.weebly.com/schedule.html

If you have any questions please email [email protected]

To attend this conference virtually please register here: https://newschool.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYpduGgrDotEtzsTVYicNALp7vyxBvN-Qab

Instructions for in person attendees can be found here: https://www.newschool.edu/covid-19/campus-access/

This conference is made possible with the support of The NSSR Dean's Office, The New School University Student Senate, GFSS, and NSSR PHilosophy Forum

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#New York events, #Environmental philosophy