Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Enlightenment now

The other day, I accepted an invitation from Breakthrough Journal to write a short response to Steven Pinker’s new book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress”. Given the number of unfinished tasks on that to-do list, accepting the offer was probably not the smartest thing to do but presumably better use of my energy than writing yet another blog post ;-)

While thinking about what to write for Breakthrough, I picked up some vegan BBQ burgers from “Astrid and the monkeys” which turned out just great with halloumi and chipotle-mayo on top.  Still, it had me again questioning the realism of ecomodernism and to what extent people have to buy into a perfectionist ideal or "comprehensive conception of the good" (to speak with John Rawls) in order for it to actually work? After all, while the great promise of ecomodernism – i.e. that liberal freedom can be made compatible with Anthropocene conditions – may be true for energy, the same can hardly be said about agriculture or our relationship to non-human animals…

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