Everyday parlance assumes that the public is constituted as a "sphere," a "rounded" space encompassing all citizens within a singular horizon of rationality. When the environmental crisis is referred to as a "global" crisis, this is usually taken to entail the imperative to match the public to the planetary sphere, with the health of the planet as the ideal "res publica " around which a global polity must be assembled. This paper provides an outline of the alternative topology of public space which Peter Sloterdijk developed in his Spheres trilogy (1998-2004) and sketches its implications for the environmental humanities. According to Sloterdijk, contemporary world society is best understood as "foamy" or "froth-like": its structure is that of an aggregation of immunological "bubbles," i.e. small-scale spheres of shared concerns and risks, which are mutually constitutive but mutually impermeable. With its attempt to provide a "thick description" of the forms of human inhabitation in their material and semantic specificity, Sloterdijk's spherology makes an important contribution to the environmental humanities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 藝術與人文 (全部)