Kenneth Shockley
Colorado State University
Characterizations of the Anthropocene often indicate both the challenges that our new epoch poses for human well-being and a sense of loss that comes from a compromised environment. In this paper I explore a deeper problem underpinning both issues, namely, that decoupling humanity from the world with which we are familiar compromises human flourishing. The environmental conditions characteristic of the Anthropocene do so, I claim, by compromising flourishing on two fronts. First, the comparatively novel conditions of the Anthropocene risk rupturing our narratives, putting at risk our sense of self and connections to familiar environments. Second, by undermining the connections between our environmental background and the sense of well-being conditioned by that background our ability to exercise options that constitute a recognizable good life are compromised. This paper argues that to the extent humanity is decoupled from their environments humans are not only less able to access opportunities our understanding of who we are, our identities, and our capacity to make sense of the world around us through those identities is compromised. I conclude that the Anthropocene does more than challenge our ability to utilize resources, it challenges our understanding of who we are in the world.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-018-9736-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Climate of History: Four Theses.Dipesh Chakrabarty - 2009 - Critical Inquiry 35 (2):197-222.
Capability and Agency.David Crocker & Ingrid Robeyns - 2009 - In Christopher W. Morris (ed.), Amartya Sen. Cambridge University Press.
Climate Justice and Capabilities: A Framework for Adaptation Policy.David Schlosberg - 2012 - Ethics and International Affairs 26 (4):445-461.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Valuing Out of Context.Megs S. Gendreau - 2022 - Environmental Values 31 (4):381-396.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Trying and Failing.Annie Powell, Johanne Grosvold & Andrew Millington - 2015 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 26:192-204.
Grounding and Ontological Dependence.Henrik Rydéhn - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1231-1256.
Perceptual Decoupling or Motor Decoupling?James Head & William S. Helton - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):913-919.
The Dependence of Value on Humanity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2003 - In Jay Wallace (ed.), The Practice of Value. Oxford University Press. pp. 63--85.
Humanity and Animality. A Transdisciplinary Approach.Astrid Guillaume - 2013 - Human and Social Studies 2 (3):13-32.
Hume and the Problem of Paternalism: When is Humanity Sufficient?Ryan Pollock - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):107-128.
A Finite Axiomatization of G-Dependence.Gianluca Paolini - 2017 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 26 (3):293-302.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #735,166 of 2,519,576 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,153 of 2,519,576 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes