Den Anthropocene Vending

René Bøtker Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The notion of the anthropocene relates to the present geological era, where man is perceive as being an integrated part of nature. In this thesis I investigate the problems of structuring knowledge in relation to the notion of the anthropocene. The investigation is outlined by the double-hermeneutic structures of the social life, which are portrayed through various theoretical structures in the Kantian epistemological tradition. The first part features Leibniz and Kant. Leibniz provides a framework for understanding the intelligibility in the universe, which causes interactaction. Through Leibniz’ theory we get an understanding for the frames of meaning, which converts into interpretative schematics. Kant displays how frames of meaning are converted into interpretative schematics by the ability of understanding. I this segment Kant also provides an understanding of reason, which is an essential part of the ability to conceptualize social life. The second part provides the conceptual schematics of Schopenhauer and Hegel, which are based in understanding and reason. Schopenhauer provides a perspective on a conceptual schematic, which involves intuitive perceptions of the understanding. The notion of the anthropocene is analyzed through Schopenhauers schematic, where we see problems regarding the internal ability of the ingenius perception of the external nature, and also regarding the totalitarian aspects of the genius as an intermediary between causality in nature and causality in communication. Hegel provides a conceptual schematic, which is based in the apperception of reason. The notion of the anthropocene is analyzed through Hegels schematic, where we see problems regarding how the reason acts in relation to the will of external objects. Reason perceives objects as being attributed capabilities by reason. As such it contains a physical emptiness, but resides in the reason and under the commandment of the reason or spirit. The third part of the thesis discuss intentions of Schopenhauer and Hegel in relation to Leibniz and Kant. Through this discussion we get an understanding of the intentions that leads to the problem in the analysis from the second part. Regarding the internal ability of the ingenius perception of nature we see that it involve a reference to space and time, and as such there must be a causal external attribute to the ingenius ability. Regarding the totalitarian aspects of the genius as an intermediary between natural causality and the public, we see problems arising through the different conceptions of causality between Leibniz, Kant and Schopenhauer. Regarding the problems regarding Hegelian reason we see, that the free will of the substance is not incorporated in to the conceptual schematic. Possibilities for re-thinking these problematic intentions are given through a perspective, which involves Einstein’s theory of special relativity and certain aspects of quantum mechanics.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages80