Bringing hope to crisis: critical thinking, ethical action and social change

Amsler, Sarah (2009) Bringing hope to crisis: critical thinking, ethical action and social change. In: ESRC Seminar on Future Ethics, January 2009, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)

Documents
Amsler_Bringing_Hope_to_Crisis.pdf
[img]
[Download]
[img]
Preview
PDF
Amsler_Bringing_Hope_to_Crisis.pdf - Whole Document

322kB

Official URL: http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/lti/projects/reli...

Abstract

INTRODUCTION This paper departs from this point to consider whether and how crisis thinking contributes to practices of affirmative critique and transformative social action in late-capitalist societies. I argue that different deployments of crisis thinking have different ‘affect-effects’ and consequences for ethical and political practice. Some work to mobilize political action through articulating a politics of fear, assuming that people take most responsibility for the future when they fear the alternatives. Other forms of crisis thinking work to heighten critical awareness by disrupting existential certainty, asserting an ‘ethics of ambiguity’ which assumes that the continuous production of uncertain futures is a fundamental part of the human condition (de Beauvoir, 2000). In this paper, I hope to illustrate that the first deployment of crisis thinking can easily justify the closing down of political debate, discouraging radical experimentation and critique for the sake of resolving problems in a timely and decisive way. The second approach to crisis thinking, on the other hand, has greater potential to enable intellectual and political alterity in everyday life—but one that poses considerable challenges for our understandings of and responses to climate change...

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Presentation)
Additional Information:INTRODUCTION This paper departs from this point to consider whether and how crisis thinking contributes to practices of affirmative critique and transformative social action in late-capitalist societies. I argue that different deployments of crisis thinking have different ‘affect-effects’ and consequences for ethical and political practice. Some work to mobilize political action through articulating a politics of fear, assuming that people take most responsibility for the future when they fear the alternatives. Other forms of crisis thinking work to heighten critical awareness by disrupting existential certainty, asserting an ‘ethics of ambiguity’ which assumes that the continuous production of uncertain futures is a fundamental part of the human condition (de Beauvoir, 2000). In this paper, I hope to illustrate that the first deployment of crisis thinking can easily justify the closing down of political debate, discouraging radical experimentation and critique for the sake of resolving problems in a timely and decisive way. The second approach to crisis thinking, on the other hand, has greater potential to enable intellectual and political alterity in everyday life—but one that poses considerable challenges for our understandings of and responses to climate change...
Keywords:crisis thinking, critical theory, climate change, critique
Subjects:L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:5821
Deposited By: Sarah Amsler
Deposited On:13 Jun 2012 16:03
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page