William James in the Anthropocene

The Politics of Pragmatism in a New Climatic Regime

12. Apr

Guest lecture at the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media

  • Date: 12.04., 6 pm
  • Location: C 40.530
  • Speaker: Prof. Dr. Melanie Sehgal
  • Language: English

Short description by Prof. Melanie Sehgal: "In this talk, I propose to think with William James (1842-1910) in the face of today’s unfolding climate emergency, thereby putting James’ thought to a pragmatist test: what can we do with James today at a time marked by an unprecedented extent of ecological devastation? I will single out two dimensions of James’ work that seem particularly pertinent for thinking through the havoc that extractivist modes of production and habits of thought have wreaked: his notion of experience and the pragmatic method. In this way, I will outline the particular politics of James’ pragmatism and its relevance in and to a new climatic regime."

Melanie Sehgal is Director of Research at the Institute for Basic Research into the History of Philosophy at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Her work is situated at the crossroads of process philosophy, the environmental humanities, science and technology studies, aesthetics and the history and historiography of philosophy. She is the author of A Situated Metaphysics. Empiricism and Speculation in William James and Alfred North Whitehead, published by Konstanz University Press in 2016, and numerous articles on process philosophy, aesthetics and transdisciplinary practices. Currently, she is working on a book on ‚The Arts of a New Climatic Regime’.


  • Nicole Plaas