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Science, governance and self-understanding: from anthropocentricism to ecocentrism?

Willmott, Hugh 2014. Science, governance and self-understanding: from anthropocentricism to ecocentrism? Critical Policy Studies 8 (1) , pp. 22-40. 10.1080/19460171.2014.883858

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Science, as a privileged form of knowledge in modernity, is entering a period of crisis in public confidence. Notably, science is credited with an authoritative basis for ascribing climate change to human activity but it is also increasingly considered to be deeply implicated in this activity and to lack the capacity to fully or adequately comprehend the mechanisms and dynamics of climate change. This crisis of science, it is argued, is symptomatic of the dominance of an anthropocentric self-understanding of science that is central to its everyday governance. Superseding this anthropocentric orientation with an ecocentric self-understanding is a condition of possibility of effectively addressing problems, such as climate change and associated forms of environmental degradation, which are as resistant to anthropocentric self-understanding as they are a product of it. An important politico-organizational condition of making this shift in scientific self-understanding, it is argued, is a move away from a technocratic, and towards a civil, mode of governance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1946-0171
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 15:01

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