Facing Gaia

(XVI) 2015
Facing Gaia

Date: 2017
Publisher: Polity Press
Translator(s): Cathy Porter
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0199256051


Table of contents
First Lecture: On the Instability of the (Notion of) Nature
A mutation of the relation to the world • Four ways to be driven crazy by ecology • The instability of the nature/culture relation • The invocation of human nature • The recourse to the “natural world” • On a great service rendered by the pseudo-controversy over the climate • “Go tell your masters that the scientists are on the warpath!” • In which we seek to pass from “nature” to the world • How to face up
Second Lecture: How Not to (De-)Animate Nature
Disturbing “truths” • Describing in order to warn • In which we concentrate on agency • On the difficulty of distinguishing between humans and nonhumans • “And yet it moves!” • A new version of natural law • On an unfortunate tendency to confuse cause and creation • Toward a nature that would no longer be a religion?
Third Lecture: Gaia, a (Finally Secular) Figure for Nature
Galileo, Lovelock: Two symmetrical discoveries • Gaia, an exceedingly treacherous mythical name for a scientific theory • A parallel with Pasteur’s microbes • Lovelock too makes micro-actors proliferate • How to avoid the idea of a system? • Organisms make their own environment, they do not adapt to it • On a slight complication of Darwinism • Space, an offspring of history
Fourth Lecture: The Anthropocene and the Destruction of (the Image of) the Globe
The Anthropocene: an innovation • Mente et Malleo • A debatable term for an uncertain epoch • An ideal opportunity to disaggregate the figures of Man and Nature • Sloterdijk or the theological origin of the image of the Sphere • Confusion between Science and the Globe • Tyrrell against Lovelock • Feedback loops do not draw a Globe • Finally, a different principle of composition • Melancholia, or the end of the Globe
Fifth Lecture: How to Convene the Various Peoples (of Nature)?
Two Leviathans, two cosmologies • How to avoid war between the gods? • A perilous diplomatic project • The impossible convocation of a “people of nature” • How to give negotiation a chance? • On the conflict between science and religion • Uncertainty about the meaning of the word “end” • Comparing collectives in combat • Doing without any natural religion
Sixth Lecture: How (Not) to Put an End to the End of Times?
The fateful date of 1610 • Stephen Toulmin and the scientific counter-revolution • In search of the religious origin of “disinhibition” • The strange project of achieving Paradise on Earth • Eric Voegelin and the avatars of Gnosticism • On an apocalyptic origin of climate skepticism • From the religious to the terrestrial by way of the secular • A “people of Gaia”? • How to respond when accused of producing “apocalyptic discourse”
Seventh Lecture: The States (of Nature) between War and Peace
The “Great Enclosure” of Caspar David Friedrich • The end of the State of Nature • On the proper dosage of Carl Schmitt • “We seek to understand the normative order of the earth” • on the difference between war and police work • How to turn around and face Gaia? • Human versus Earthbound • Learning to identify the struggling territories
Eighth Lecture: How to Govern Struggling (Natural) Territories?
In the Theater of Negotiations, Les Amandiers, May 2015 • Learning to meet without a higher arbiter • Extension of the Conference of the Parties to Nonhumans • Multiplication of the parties involved • Mapping the critical zones • Rediscovering the meaning of the State • Laudato Si’ • Finally, facing Gaia • “Earth, earth!”
Works Cited

Original Title