Our Collective Performance of Environmental Problems, Constructivism and Wittgenstein's "Not Agreement in Opinions but in Form of Life"

Speaker: Vesa Arponen # STIS PhD student

14th Oct 2011

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Room, Ground Floor, Chisholm House, High School Yards

All welcome, no need to book.  Please note earlier start time.


This talk critically discusses the possibility of  understanding our collective performance of environmental problems by  some form of social  constructivist approach to social action. In the  typical environmentalist and environmental historical argument, at the   root of environmental problems is said to lie our culture's collective technocratic, capitalistic and materialistic orientation to nature. 
This argument appears to imply a form of constructivism as it explains  social action by appeal to a shared normative orientation towards   nature. By contrast, I argue that our collective performance of environmental problems is marked by division of labour of culturally and geographically dispersed masses engaged in an immense variety of everyday activities such that no general shared orientation can be found. Yet, the mass is in a non-epistemic agreement in form of life. I critically relate these ideas to the Strong Programme's constructivism and discuss an alternative reading of the later Wittgenstein.

Vesa Arponen is a current STIS PhD student.

Please do come along to hear this very interesting talk and enjoy the discussion which will follow, and feel free to invite friends and colleagues who are not on this mailing list. New STiS Msc and PhD students are particularly encouraged to attend this informal and friendly session.

For further information about accessibility please contact Isabel Fletcher at I.Fletcher@ed.ac.uk