Morris Lecture 2019-2020: Anthropocene Monism: Metaphysics for a New Epoch

Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm EST
Event Location: 
AT 2019
Event Fee: 
Free. All are welcome
Event Contact Name: 
Dr. Richard Maundrell
Event Contact Phone: 
Event Contact E-mail: 

On behalf of the Lakehead University Department of Philosophy with the generous support of the Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Centre for Health Care Ethics, please join guest speaker Byron Williston, Professor of Philosophy at Wilfred Laurier University and member of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo, for this year's Morris Lecture Series speakers' event.


Since the term "anthropocene" was first introduced, it has been subjected to a variety of interpretations from across the academic spectrum. However, comparatively little has been said about what sort of metaphysics the new epoch invites. I aim to make four interrelated claims. First, that the signature event of the Anthropocene is anthropogenic climate change, which has now assumed the character of planetary emergency. Second, that when it comes to the metaphysical question of the One and the Many, this conjuncture forces a certain sort of monism on us. Third, that the essential feature of this monistic metaphysics is technology. Finally, and because of the first three claims, that the new metaphysics cannot be separated from a specific political task: addressing the climate crisis justly.