How the current ecological emergency shapes our long-term historical condition ?

On Human Species : confronting the Ecological Emergency with Robert Antelme et Hans Jonas

Flore D’Ambrosio-Boudet, junio 2018

The starting point of this Doctorate thesis, by Flore D’Ambrosio Boudet, is the observation that the current ecological emergency (global warming, biodiversity crisis, pollution) shapes our long-term historical condition. The ecological emergency, which results from identifiable economic and social activities, threatens the continued sustainability of a wide range of species and places the future of our species in jeopardy.

This dissertation in philosophy consequently explores the concept of human species, which the author addresses from the point of view of its evolving and ecological naturality. In so doing, the author intends to take note of the end of a pre-Darwinian definition, and at the same time she refuses to pave the way for any racialist biologism and for the criminal hierarchies it brought about. What is at stake here for theoretical research is the elaboration of an ontology of human species, which will not give in to any deceptive naturalizing doctrine and will provide us with landmarks to face the ecological emergency. This ontology builds upon two authors, Hans Jonas and Robert Antelme, who endured the experience of Nazism. Their works are central to elaborate a non-reductionist dialectical monism, which can generate an ethics of our life in the world and an ethics of greater recognition and extended solidarity.

The author argues that the ecological emergency is political in so far as it is the future of collective destinies which is at stake. Her approach dismisses the urge to save the human species – or parts of it - by resorting to biotechnological enhancements which would supposedly help our species to step beyond the catastrophe or even beyond “humanity” while shirking our responsibility here and now. Flore D’Ambrosio Boudet accordingly claims that deeper consideration of planetary boundaries - as well as the spectre of death and the desire for power they imply - calls for a work on the conditions in which humans and non-humans can properly inhabit the world and the democratic experience can be renewed without giving way to panic.


On Human Species : confronting the Ecological Emergency with Robert Antelme et Hans Jonas, by Flore D’Ambrosio-Boudet (Doctorate thesis on Philosophy, June 2018, Univ. Paris 10, France)