Cognitive fluidity and climate change: a critical social-theoretical approach to the current challenge

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dc.contributor.author Strydom, Piet
dc.date.accessioned 2019-02-25T12:33:18Z
dc.date.available 2019-02-25T12:33:18Z
dc.date.issued 2015-04-24
dc.identifier.citation Strydom, P. (2015) 'Cognitive fluidity and climate change: a critical social-theoretical approach to the current challenge', European Journal of Social Theory, 18(3), pp. 236-256. doi:10.1177/1368431015579961 en
dc.identifier.volume 18 en
dc.identifier.issued 3 en
dc.identifier.startpage 236 en
dc.identifier.endpage 256 en
dc.identifier.issn 1368-4310
dc.identifier.issn 1461-7137
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/7539
dc.identifier.doi 10.1177/1368431015579961
dc.description.abstract This article seeks to enrich the social-theoretical and sociological approach to climate change by arguing in favour of a weak naturalistic ontology beyond the usually presupposed methodological sociologism or culturalism. Accordingly, attention is drawn to the elementary social forms that mediate between nature and the sociocultural form of life and thus figure as the central object of a critical sociological explanation of impediments retarding or preventing a transition to a sustainable global society. The argument is illustrated by a comparison of the current situation of climate change to a similar situation some 10,000 years ago which conditioned the transition from hunting-gathering to farming. The crucial factor in the prehistoric transition had been the newly acquired cognitive fluidity, which not only became the defining feature of the modern human mind, but is also foundational of the corresponding social form of life. The cognitively fluid mind made possible new generative practices and the imagination of counterfactuals possessing an incursive force that is capable of transforming existing practices and social structures. The ultimate question, then, is twofold: whether there is enough potential left in the cognitively fluid mind for its societal significance to be activated to the benefit of a transformation of the current recalcitrant social formation; and whether we today are able and willing to recognize such potential and corresponding realizable possibilities upon which to act. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher SAGE Publications en
dc.relation.uri https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1368431015579961
dc.rights © 2015, the Author. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. en
dc.subject Anthropocene en
dc.subject Climate change en
dc.subject Cognitive sociology en
dc.subject Critical theory en
dc.subject Farming en
dc.subject Global warming en
dc.subject Human mind en
dc.subject Hunting-gathering en
dc.subject Modernity en
dc.subject Social theory en
dc.subject Weak naturalism en
dc.title Cognitive fluidity and climate change: a critical social-theoretical approach to the current challenge en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Piet Strydom, Sociology and Philosophy (Emeritus), University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. T: +353-21-490-3000 en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2019-02-25T12:29:54Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 474905096
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle European Journal of Social Theory en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en


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