The North American Schelling Society hosts an a conference every other year in a different North American location. Each conference is organized around a broad theme aiming to further Schelling-related research. New submissions are always welcome.
The third annual meeting of the North American Schelling Societyfocused on "Schelling in the Anthropocene: Thinking Beyond the Annihilation of Nature" and was held in New York City, from August 21-23, 2014.
Its theme stemmed from the consideration that humanity, as a force of nature, seems all too ready to prove itself more cancer than bloom on the body of our global ecosystem. Schelling warned us against “annihilation of nature” in 1804, while ecologists and climatologists tell of it in their nomenclature for the present age—the Anthropocene. Is it possible for humanity to change course to prevent or mitigate what now looks like an inevitable environmental catastrophe? Efforts to ameliorate the current state of nature and, so too, humanity’s relationship with the rest of nature, traditionally looks to the past with the hope of changing the future. But, as Schelling argued, the human as force of nature does not stand-alone; in the present, we have alternatives—other forces of nature offering resources to correct our current trajectory.
‘Thinking beyond the annihilation of nature’ is a challenge to think beyond – outside – the limits and definitions of modern philosophy since Descartes. If we accept Schelling’s proposition of Mitwissenschaft, and the claims of absolute knowing that follow from it, what happens when we think the consequences of this premise in a systematic manner? How does this re-configure the dualisms of subject and object, self-awareness and reflexivity; ontological paradigms, organic models of integrating mind and matter; emergence, consciousness, and creativity; art and myth as the voice and schema of nature; a secular theodicy that can address the possibility of humanity’s annihilation of nature?
At NASS 3, these themes, broadly construed, were explored against the horizon of possible futures that suggest a way of moving beyond our current quagmire.
Plenary session speakers included Markus Gabriel, Bonn University, Dale Snow, Loyola University, Iain Grant, University of the West of England, Lore Hühn, Freiburg University, Joseph Lawrence, College of the Holy Cross, Bruce Matthews, Bard College, Sean McGrath, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Michael Vater, Marquette University, Jason Wirth, Seattle University, Roger Berkowitz, Bard College.
Support for the conference was provided by the International Schelling Society, Bard College, Bard Graduate Center, and Bard High School Early Colleges.