Research Handbooks in Human Rights series
Edited by Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé
Chapter 3: Epistemologies of doubt
If the human can no longer be considered central to the world, how is the question of knowing affected? How does one know when one is thrown into the box of the Anthropocene, where being everywhere cannot be equated to being central to everything? This Chapter connects issues of the posthuman, in terms of methodology and as an ontological position, to the more specific issues of environmental degradation. The path followed is neither one of binarisms (such as anthropo/ecocentrism), nor one of third terms or third spaces which have thus far all too comfortably ‘solved’ the problem of human suprematism. Rather, the text begins in a space of ontological exposure and vulnerability, a space of continuum that is characterized by human/nonhuman indistinguishability. Yet, amidst this space of rapid flows and epochal pauses, human responsibility emerges more powerfully than any other. This is a situated responsibility that requires a deep ethical understanding of the position of each body with regard to the assemblage of which it is part. Finally, the text ends with a description of the main challenges of what I have called Critical Environmental Law.
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