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Journal Articles Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies Year : 2023

The Claim of Reason in a Planetary Age


This essay is a creative inheritance destined for a volume celebrating the ongoing relevance of Thomas Kuhn and Stanley Cavell. But if it is inspired by, and converses with them, it is neither a reconstruction of their conversations nor a textual exegesis, but an attempt to reflect critically on the rationality of Earthlings in the Anthropocene while drawing orientation from Kuhn and Cavell. Arguably, such philosophical modernism is in spirit intensely Cavellian. Pursuing Emersonian self-reliance, this paper aims to make “philosophy yet another kind of problem for itself.” Therefore, this text is not Kuhnian. It couldn’t be — Kuhn claimed that his “vocation” was to be a “historian of science,” a member of the “American Historical, not the American Philosophical, Association.” But in its concern with science and history, and above all in its acceptance that our current historical context, the Anthropocene, cannot be thought outside of paradigmatic shifts within the history of science, notably the development of planetary science as a comparative and thus inter- planetary model for understanding our own terrestrial condition, what follows is Kuhnian.

Dates and versions

hal-03967148 , version 1 (01-02-2023)



Brad Tabas. The Claim of Reason in a Planetary Age. Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies, 2023, 10, pp.128-157. ⟨10.18192/cjcs.vi10.6616⟩. ⟨hal-03967148⟩
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