The moderns have invented a ‘nature’ and made it one of their most important political institutions. The talk will revisit this very singular adventure through which a number of local inventions, gestures, and operations, namely within experimental systems, have given birth to a new political force. Disconnecting this nature from the very conditions of its emergence and existence, the moderns have instantiated it as an essential actor within processes of normalization of practices and as a crucial instrument justifying the extension of their impact on all other territories. Today the question has become the following: How to resist the hegemonic tendencies of this modern version of nature in order to restore space and give back legitimacy to other ways of inhabiting the earth.
Didier Debaise is a permanent researcher at the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and the director of the Center of Philosophy at Free University of Brussels (ULB) where he teaches contemporary philosophy. He is one of the co-founders, with Isabelle Stengers, of the Groupe d’études constructivistes (Geco). His main areas of research are contemporary forms of speculative philosophy, theories of events, and links between American pragmatism and French contemporary philosophy. He wrote three books on Whitehead’s philosophy (Un empirisme spéculatif, Le vocabulaire de Whitehead and L’appât des possibles), edited volumes on pragmatism (Vie et experimentation), on the history of contemporary metaphysics (Philosophie des possessions), and wrote numerous papers on Bergson, Tarde, Souriau, Simondon, and Deleuze. In 2017, two of his books appeared in English: Nature as Event: The Lure of the Possible and Speculative Empiricism: Revisiting Whitehead. He is currently working on a new book, Pragmatique de la terre.