On the Risk of Gaia for an Ecology of Practices


The work of Isabelle Stengers engages a baffling number of topics and includes collaborators from across many disciplines and practices. For this reason, there is perhaps no set of terms or concepts that easily encapsulates her work. Nevertheless, in recent years concepts such as “cosmopolitics” and the “ecology of practices” have gained a special currency in the context of humanities and social science research (e.g., Blok and Farias; Yaneva and Zaera-Polo; Gabrys). While cosmopolitics is not a new term, and Stengers is certainly not the only one to employ it today (e.g., Latour and Beck), her use of it, and in conjunction with the ecology of practices, seems to have sparked the critical and speculative imaginations of many. This should be good news given that these concepts are not exclusive to “professional philosophy.” Stengers very specifically refers to them as “tools” to be put to use in practices (Stengers, “Introductory Notes” 185).

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