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The CSI Guests Seminar will host
Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d’études sur les réflexivités (LIER), CNRS-EHESS, Paris
to discuss his book
Abondance et liberté
Une histoire environnementale des idées politiques
Introduction to the discussion by Roman Solé-Pomies
Abundance and freedom. An environmental history of political ideas
Back cover: In the form of a masterful philosophical and historical investigation, this book offers an untold story: an environmental history of modern political ideas. It therefore does not aim to look for the seeds of ecological thought in the latter (as others have done), but rather to show how all of them, whether or not they claim an ecological ideal, are informed through a certain conception of their relationship to the earth and the environment.
As it turns out, the main political categories of modernity have been based on the idea of an improvement of nature, a decisive victory over its greed, and unlimited access to earthly resources. The political society of free, equal, and prosperous individuals desired by the moderns, especially with the rise of industry assimilated to progress, has thus been thought as freed from the heaviness of the world.
However, this pact between democracy and growth is today called into question by climate change and the disruption of ecological balances. It is therefore up to us to give a new horizon to the ideal of political emancipation, on the understanding that it can no longer rest on the promises of infinite extension of industrial capitalism. To achieve this, ecology must inherit from nineteenth-century socialism the capacity it had to react to the great geo-ecological shock of industrialization. But it must redeploy the imperative of protecting society in a new direction, one that acknowledges the solidarity of social groups with their environments in a world transformed by climate change.
Pierre Charbonnier, Abondance et liberté, La Découverte, 2020
The Guest Seminar Series is organized collectively by the CSI PhD students. It is open upon registration.
Registration: please fill out this form