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Posthuman Environments

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Week 10 Lecture for University of the West of Scotland, Becoming Posthuman Course

Week 10 Lecture for University of the West of Scotland, Becoming Posthuman Course

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  • 1. Week 10: Posthuman Environments Andy Miah [email_address] University of the West of Scotland 2010/11
  • 2. Context
    • In trying to establish humanity’s place in the world, where should we begin?
    • Do we consider our role in evolution, our relationship to other species, our relationship with non-animal species, our planet?
    • These considerations are relevant to posthumanism, since we are in the business of considering how humanity may shift in the coming years, as a result of technological change.
  • 3. Context: Technological Change
    • To this end, answering our question about what defines posthuman envirnoments requires defining the limits of technology
    • While we may talk about technologies as apparatus or artifacts, we may also claim that each of these devices are, in fact, environmental conditions.
    • They shape our existence and limit our interactions with the world
  • 4.
    • By extension, posthumanism is the study of our environmental interactions, from the clothes we wear, to the impact of our carbon omissions on the planet.
    • This is why environmental change is central to the posthumanist debate.
  • 5. Applied Ethics
    • We can also identify the disciplinary shifts that have occurred over the last 10 years and identify ‘environmental ethics’ as a part of the ‘applied ethical’ movement towards ‘bio’ issues.
  • 6. Politics
    • Yet, perhaps more than any other topic we have discussed, the environment engages politics in a way that draws attention to
      • The limits of ethical debate
      • the public context within which policy debates are played out
    • It is also the one issue where the evidence base is most crucial and controversial
  • 7. Key Issues
    • Should we have concern for non-human life?
      • How far should we expand this concern?
    • Is a change in society the right way to handle this risk
    • Is the ‘technological fix’ a better strategy?
    • What does ‘respect’ for the environment involve?
    • How should this issue be handled on a global level?
      • is it reasonable to require developing countries to adhere to same standards?
  • 8. Screenings
    • An Inconvenient Truth (2007)
    • The Great Global Warming Swindle
      • Focus on this as the more interesting cultural artifact, not because it is right about the issue, but because it allows us to understand the way in which a dilemma becomes a norm and the impact of this
  • 9. Further Research
    • Cop15 – UN Climate Change Conference (2009)
      • 15 th meet of parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    • BP Deep Water Horizon (2010)
    • Climate Gate – controversy around University of East Anglia (2009)
  • 10. Further Reading
    • Self-censorship and science: a geographical review of media coverage of climate tipping points, Public Understanding of Science March 1, 2010 19: 240-256
    • Ideological cultures and media discourses on scientific knowledge: re-reading news on climate change, Public Understanding of Science April 1, 2007 16: 223-243
    • Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: How to improve communication across ideological divides?, Public Understanding of Science November 1, 2010 19: 743-761
    • Global warming--global responsibility? Media frames of collective action and scientific certainty, Public Understanding of Science July 1, 2009 18: 421-436
    • From Carbon Markets to Carbon Morality: Creative Compounds as Framing Devices in Online Discourses on Climate Change Mitigation, Science Communication March 1, 2010 32: 25-54
    • Gardner, Stephen M., A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption, Environmental Values, Volume 15, Number 3, August 2006 , pp. 397-413(17)
  • 11. Debate We should NOT adapt our lifestyles out of a concern for the environment . Agree/Disagree