René ten Bos
Holland’s Philosophy Laureate on Extinction
‘I mistrust any idea or thought that doesn’t dare face up to the gaping hole within’ is ten Bos’s starting point for a philosophical reassessment of extinction and climate change.
In a style reminiscent of French philosopher Michel Serres, ten Bos argues that humankind is scarcely touched by the extinction of many species because they disappear without being noticed. If we do wish to be affected we need to recognize the essential value of their existence, but our knowledge constantly falls too short for this. We would rather feed the illusion that we are in control. Will humankind’s ‘speculative’ future extinction allow us to take the step towards caring enough to effect change?