Contributors: Fremaux, Anne (Queens University of Belfast)
Anne FREMAUX is a French teacher of philosophy entitled with the French Agregation. She published a book in 2011 on radical ecology. She is currently doing her PhD on ‘Critical Ecological Theory and Green Republicanism’ at Queens' University of Belfast under the supervision of John Barry.
Scientific paper contribution: The liberation of human and non-human world and the critique of instrumental rationality: Degrowth and Green Critical Theory
Abstract: The crisis of unsustainability we are going through today is one of the dramatic symptoms of a collapsing paradigm of society based on consumerism, productivism, industrialism, modern technology and technocracy. All these characteristics are linked to the domination of instrumental rationality (a means-orientated mentality and perspective) in almost all areas of human life and in our relations with the non-human world. The early Frankfurt School theorists share a common account with radical Greens theorists when criticizing the negative implications of the Enlightenment, such as the dark side of scientism, industrialism and modernity that led to the ‘disenchantment of the world’ (Weber) and to the non (although expected) liberation of humanity. In this paper, I will show to what extent early critical theory, before Habermas’ shift towards liberal democracy, could provide the Degrowth movement with a relevant philosophical theory of social change, allowing the renewal of ethos and practises that constitutes one of the vital priorities today if we want to re-orientate political and economic thinking away from current unsustainability.