Academic journal article Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

Dystopian Contemporary Positions: Sustainable Development as a Manifest Instance of the Epistemological Disposition

Academic journal article Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

Dystopian Contemporary Positions: Sustainable Development as a Manifest Instance of the Epistemological Disposition

Article excerpt

"[A]s long as we replace old values with new ones that only amounts to new combinations between reactive forces and the will to nothingness, nothing has changed."

--Gilles Deleuze (1)

"The fact that at present people all talk of things which they CANNOT have any experience, is true more especially and fortunately as concerns the philosopher and philosophical matters: [...] thinking itself is regarded by them as something slow and hesitating, almost as a trouble, and often enough as 'worthy of the SWEAT of the noble'--but not at all as something easy [...], closely related to dancing and exuberance!"

--Friedrich Nietzsche (2)

1. Descent Into Our Contemporaneity

I

Recollections Of A Past Utopia--Once upon a time there was a little girl, her cousins and friends from all nationalities who yet spoke a common language. They knew well how to proceed with a few affairs. They had come to master a range of trades in the idiosyncrasies of a cove by the name of Cala Crancs. Notably well, they had developed all their own techniques on how to turn fine-speck sand into a number of items of public display. Their varied production included robust and quite exuberant castles, bakeries exhibiting the most appetitive--or so they believed--shapes of croissants, and impervious barriers against the corrosive salt water in times of choppy sea. Water was another of the domains where these children had found a secure ally. The little girl and her relatives and friends had come to develop a remarkable command of wave-surfing with their physical bodies. Their prolific imagination on how to establish an adequate relationship with the waves made up for boards or any kind of additional accessories. Remarkably our characters were able to hold their breath for as long as the wave was keeping its momentum. On every ride they would succeed in maintaining their bodies stretched out and supple at one and the same time to readily permit wave-transport until shore.

Water being a tacit accomplice, expeditions out to sea were activities they would also undertake on a regular basis. By combining breast and backstroke with crawl, this group of children knew how to swim with and against the mild Mediterranean currents to reach out to a majestic rock offshore. Once standing on that rock that would keep their bodies submerged up to the hips, they enjoyed gazing at the fauna, often aided with diving goggles. They happily befriended those exotic creatures which looked in any case quite similar to the animals populating the rocks neighbouring the cove. Collective incursions onto the rocks surrounding their cove--that singular and safe place of their childhood--were also frequent. These kids were keen to visit the crabs, the mussels, the winkles, the starfishes and the sea urchins on a regular basis--they were one with their sea-friends.

In her mid-teens that little girl now on her course to womanhood dropped interest in her sand-converting skills. She replaced her direct contact with sand with windsurfing. With the supplement of a board and a sail, our main character preserved her keenness for both swimming out to the Mediterranean sea and playing with the waves. Yet to her utter surprise and disappointment, the knowledge and skills this girl on her course to womanhood had been accumulating since her tender age became redundant for a good part. Not because of the uselessness of the skills at issue; this woman remained fond of swimming. She had moreover grown increasingly aware of the healing properties of her swimming practices out to sea. However, some skills of hers had turned impracticable almost overnight. In the course of five years, two blocks of apartments on the rocks where she and her cousins and friends used to visit their sea peers had been built. What is more, at this stage of her life this woman had to develop new techniques and precautions to approach the sea--the sewage of the new inhabitants didn't always render the swimming salubrious. …

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