Authors
Carlos Santana
University of Utah
Abstract
The idea that we are living in the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch defined by human activity, has gained substantial currency across the academy and with the broader public. Within the earth sciences, however, the question of the Anthropocene is hotly debated, recognized as a question that gets at both the foundations of geological science and issues of broad philosophical importance. For example, official recognition of the Anthropocene requires us to find a way to use the methods of historical science to make predictions. It also involves determining the role that political motivations should play in establishing scientific kinds. I bring the perspective of philosophy of science to bear on these questions, ultimately arguing that formal recognition of the Anthropocene should be indefinitely deferred. 1A New Epoch 1.1Criteria for designating a new epoch2The Future Geologist’s Perspective 2.1Climate change2.2The fossil record, excluding humans2.3The human fossil record2.4Direct anthropogenic deposits2.5Chemical markers2.6Hydrology2.7Summing up3The Synchronic Perspective4The Anthropocene Is Not yet Set in Stone
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axy022
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References found in this work BETA

Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Inductive Risk and Values in Science.Heather Douglas - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):559-579.
Science, Truth, and Democracy.A. Bird - 2003 - Mind 112 (448):746-749.
The Climate of History: Four Theses.Dipesh Chakrabarty - 2009 - Critical Inquiry 35 (2):197-222.

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