This lecture really made me reflect on many of my thoughts about the Anthropocene. It is so interesting to see how others view the Anthropocene, and this class has brought many views to my attention. Professor Peterson really had me thinking about his view. The Anthropocene is the most recent epoch, the era where we, as humans, dominate and have the greatest effect on Earth. Professor Peterson didn’t only talk about the effects humans have on the earth, but he also spoke about what humans do to limit or reverse the impact we have had. Interestingly, Professor Peterson’s view of the Anthropocene was not just about humans and their (our) effect on the earth, but also non-human life and their impact on the earth. This view was shocking to me, because the Anthropocene is the cumulative impact of human action converging on earth and on earth dynamics, so taking non-human action into account as well changes things. His view does have an interesting point- humans have impacted the world in many different, and sometimes drastic ways, but we are not the only ones who live and have an impact on this world. We also need to take into account the effect non-humans, animals, have on the world and we need to think of them as we create plans for future impacts and changes. Professor Peterson really had me thinking about “The Anthropocentrism of the Anthropocene.”
According to some beliefs, humanity can adapt to anything. Humans can survive and adapt to a new world caused by the Anthropocene by letting go of the particular way of life we currently live in. The Anthropocene is more than an epoch, and the only way to respond to it is by creating a non-humanism, a post-humanism.
Professor Peterson also brought up a very interesting topic of environmental philosophy. Environmental philosophy has three main branches, or central topics. They are: Anthropocentrism, the intrinsic value, and an ecological world view. He also mentioned the cosmic view of how humans view themselves as the center of the universe, the axiological view that human interests outweigh all others, and the epistemic view that a human perspective is inevitable. All interesting points, and honestly, slightly scary views. Humans as a race, and I am saying this as a human myself, obviously, are very self-centered. I believe that we, as a race, need to come together and start realizing just how much of an impact we have, not only on the earth, but also on the other inhabitants of our earth.
Another part of Tuesday’s lecture that interested me was the part where Professor Peterson told us about the logic of domination. According to the Professor, there are five steps to this process. Step one is radical exclusion, step two is homogenization or stereotyping, step three is denial or back grounding, step four is incorporation or assimilation, and step five is instrumentalization. These five steps are also known as Plumwood’s model of liberation and it is very interesting topic. Overall, this lecture had many interesting points and views that really made me think.