Posthumanism at a Crossroads: Latour’s Dangerous Vision, N. K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth,” and the Search for Better Pathways
Author:N. Katherine Hayles
Key Word:Posthumanism; Bruno Latour; N. K. Jemisin; The Broken Earth Trilogy

In Down to Earth and Facing Gaia, Bruno Latour flirts with treating Earth as an intentional entity—an implication already present

in his adoption of “Gaia” to describe earth systems. In addition, he proposes that science and religion be put on an equal footing with

regard to producing reliable knowledge about the world, suggesting that they are simply two equally contending parties along with many

others such as nations, regions, ethnicities, etc. This essay argues on the contrary that scientific knowledge practices incorporate a critical

attribute absent from religions, namely the power of disconfirmation. By largely ignoring this attribute, Latour drastically downplays the

ability of the sciences to deliver robust, reliable knowledge about the world, at precisely a time when scientific methods are crucial to un-

derstanding global warming, species extinction, the coronavirus panemic, and many other threats facing life on earth. To explore why

the appeal to an intentional Earth is attractive to Latour and many others, this essay analyzes N. K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy, in

which Father Earth figures as the living antagonist to the varieties of people inhabiting this future time. At the same time it acknowledges

the power of kinship and the problems it poses for human solidarity, thus anticipating the problems of Latour’s proposed politics of dis-

unity, the trilogy also holds open the possibility of a future when all people, human and not, can live and flourish together.

页码:6-29 页数:24

World scientific publishing house Copyright
By Bolehu