On the Anthropocene
A book on the planetary crisis and long-term prospects for civilisation.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is a professor at Chicago University undertaking postcolonial and subaltern research.
The book “On the Anthropocene” by Chicago University Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty includes two texts devoted to the era in which the human as a biological species affecting the environment turned into a new geological force.
In his work “The Climate of History: Four Theses” Chakrabarty challenges the tradition of dividing human history from natural history. He discusses the philosophy of freedom and the unpredictable consequences of human decisions for the planet, connecting the global history of capital with the history of the human species, and finally discusses the new universe and the universal history of humankind.
In the second text “The Planet: A New Category for the Humanitarian Sciences”, Chakrabarty considers the planet as a new category of humanitarian thought, creating the preconditions for a rethinking of capitalism and the life of humanity as a species.
The anxiety global warming gives rise to is reminiscent of the days when many feared a global nuclear war. But there is a very important difference. A nuclear war would have been a conscious decision on the part of the powers that be. Climate change is an unintended consequence of human actions and shows, only through scientific analysis, the effects of our actions as a species.