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Speculations: Social Science, Climate Change, Science Fictions

Casper Bruun Jensen

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Tuesday 17 December 2019,  at 12:30 - 14:00

This presentation focuses on the emergence of speculation as a matter of concern in recent social theory. Speculation—and a cluster of related terms interests including science fiction, histories of the future, and the ontological turn in anthropology—offers responses to a set of interwoven intellectual and pragmatic issues. Some anthropologists have come to appreciate that people, rather than being (or providing) empirical materials to be explained by social theory themselves provide imaginative theories, which can challenge conventional theories. Meanwhile, global climate change has unsettled the certainties of much social science, both with respect to what is happening and regarding the capacity to provide any adequate response. In consequence of these developments, signs of speculation are everywhere in ascendance. Surveying this landscape, I suggest that speculation provides ways of taking care of the possible, protecting it against the many dangerous probabilities of the present