Title: Organism-oriented ontology against the anthropocene
Abstract: In my paper I will introduce my original notion of organism-oriented ontology and examine it as an antidote to the expanding theory of the Anthropocene. Organism-oriented ontology encompasses different threads coming from systems theory, the notion of autopoiesis, and the philosophy of biology, and relates them to actual and “vital” ideas circulating in contemporary philosophy. An organism-oriented ontology pursues the Kantian idea that some characteristics defining living beings – organisms – might be helpful to re-conceptualize ontology. In this respect the notion of an organism-oriented ontology engages into the controversies concerning whether the living system is closed or open, whether it follows a certain teleology and purpose, or, on the contrary, it is absolutely contingent and unpredictable. An organism-oriented ontology examines the relationships of continuity and discontinuity between different levels of a living system, and also between organisms of different complexity. Paraphrasing Cary Wolfe’s essay title “What ‘The Animal’ Can Teach ‘The Anthropocene’” (2020), I would like to ask what the organism can teach contemporary philosophy, and consequently, how the notion of the organic could help to resist recent challenges, such as climate change and the Anthropocene. My hypothesis is that, in contrast to the Anthropocene theory, which is based on quantitative approach, biological systems in general, and organism in particular, can offer a new qualitative approach, based on the principles of processuality, multiplicity, and potentiality.
Bio: Audronė Žukauskaitė is Chief Researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute. Her recent publications include the monographs Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Philosophy: The Logic of Multiplicity (in Lithuanian, 2011), and From Biopolitics to Biophilosophy(in Lithuanian, 2016). She also co-edited (with S. E. Wilmer) Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism (Oxford UP, 2010); Deleuze and Beckett (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Resisting Biopolitics: Philosophical, Political and Performative Strategies (Routledge, 2016; 2018), and Life in the Posthuman Condition: Critical Responses to the Anthropocene (Edinburgh UP, 2023). Her latest monograph Organism-Oriented Ontology is forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in August 2023. Her research interests include contemporary philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, biopolitics, biophilosophy, posthumanism, and the Anthropocene. E-mail: email@example.com