Metaphysical Closure and the Political Articulation of Climate Change

Mark Vardy


Climate change is interpreted as a phenomenon that announces the waning of modernity. That is to say, the question of how to respond to climate change is the question of how to think and act in an age when the subject loses its foundational status. This question coincides with that of how to prepare for unknown non-linear Earth system events wrought by climate change. A paradox appears: how to incorporate scientific knowledge into praxis without importing the structure by which it achieves its social authority. Radical phenomenology posits the possibility for an age to come into being in which thinking and acting are no longer subsumed by hegemonic ultimate referents. It offers a non-foundational praxis as a way to neuter the social authority of science while apprehending the sense of the non-linear quality of the Earth system that arises through scientific investigations.

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