Pietro Daniel Omodeo
University of Venice
The current predicament, marked by an unprecedented environmental crisis and novel debates on the anthropic-technological transformation of the earth-system, calls for a reassessment of the historical-epistemological question of the entanglement between power, knowledge, and nature. Francis Bacon is the classical reference point for this thematic cluster – a focal point for both historical reconstructions and epistemological reflections, for both those who extol the merits of scientific progress and those who criticize the risks posed by its abuse. I begin this essay by considering Merchant’s eco-feminist interpretation of Bacon. Additionally, I briefly recount how Bacon is envisaged as a symbol of science as domination within the critique of capitalism provided in another classic, Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. I also consider the flipside of the reception of Bacon in assessments of our modern scientific world, namely the empowerment-and-emancipation discourse on technology, typical of much of Marxism. In this respect, I deem it expedient to mention the knowledge-power problem in relation to the Anthropocene debate, and in particular in relation to the theme of the transformation of the world in praxeological terms. These considerations, which deal with various assessments of techno-scientific capitalist modernity, are at the basis of my final remarks on the most urgent Anthropocene dilemma, namely, whether we need more or less technoscience. This concerns the historico-political question of whether the ecological limits of growth are an intrinsic limit of capitalism.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.5840/eps202158350
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