Cover of Taking Turns with the Earth by Matthias Fritsch
Taking Turns with the Earth
Phenomenology, Deconstruction, and Intergenerational Justice
Matthias Fritsch

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October 2018
264 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9781503604940
Paper ISBN: 9781503606951

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The environmental crisis, one of the great challenges of our time, tends to disenfranchise those who come after us. Arguing that as temporary inhabitants of the earth, we cannot be indifferent to future generations, this book draws on the resources of phenomenology and poststructuralism to help us conceive of moral relations in connection with human temporality. Demonstrating that moral and political normativity emerge with generational time, the time of birth and death, this book proposes two related models of intergenerational and environmental justice. The first entails a form of indirect reciprocity, in which we owe future people both because of their needs and interests and because we ourselves have been the beneficiaries of peoples past; the second posits a generational taking of turns that Matthias Fritsch applies to both our institutions and our natural environment, in other words, to the earth as a whole. Offering new readings of key philosophers, and emphasizing the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida in particular, Taking Turns with the Earth disrupts human-centered notions of terrestrial appropriation and sharing to give us a new continental philosophical account of future-oriented justice.

About the author

Matthias Fritsch is Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University.