Utopia without us?





Utopia, human extinction, Anthropocene


As the prospect of self-authored human extinction increasingly appears as a plausible scenario of human futures, a growing number of efforts aim at comprehending it as the prospect of the world without us. Patrícia Vieira convincingly shows in her essay on utopia and dystopia in the Anthropocene that utopianism has become a prominent interpretive strategy to render the possibility of human extinction meaningful. This brief reflection argues against the feasibility of considering the world without us in utopian terms. It identifies three tacit assumptions in utopian interpretations of our disappearance: they (1) take for granted that prospects of human extinction and post-apocalyptic themes are of the same kind; (2) presume that the biological character of human extinction needs no special attention when situating it with the social character of utopian thinking; and (3) remain committed to an anthropocentric view in assuming that we are the ones to attribute meaning even to the world defined by our absence. In challenging these assumptions, the essay develops three theses on the relation of utopia and the prospect of the world without us.

Biografia do Autor

Zoltán Boldizsár Simon, Bielefeld University; Leiden University

Bielefeld University
Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology

Leiden University
Institute for History


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Debate "Antropoceno, utopia e distopia"