Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming
William E. Connolly is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches political theory. He is a former editor of Political Theory and one of the cofounders of Theory & Event. His recent books include The Fragility of Things; A World of Becoming; Capitalism and Christianity, American Style; and Pluralism, all also published by Duke University Press.
Species Evolution and Cultural Creativity
In this chapter recent evolutionary biologists such as Lynn Margulis and Terrence Deacon are put into conversation with philosophers of cultural creativity such as Nietzsche and Thomas Nagel. The former insinuate microprocesses of creativity into the logic of species evolution itself. In so doing they point to the reality of human creativity and show it to be more complex and dependent upon nonhuman processes than doctrines of humanist exceptionalism suggest. Along the way “arts of the self” that reach below the register of cultural consciousness are engaged. Examples are given to show how such arts could both promote creativity and enhance worldly attachments needed today.