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FRENCH 367: Introduction to Apocalyptic Thinking (COMPLIT 376, POLISCI 237R, POLISCI 337R)

At the time of the European Enlightenment, the talk about the end of the world was taken to be a remnant of religious beliefs or the domain of insane people. The rational mind knew how to eliminate those obstacles to continuous scientific and technological progress. Today the situation has radically changed. Science and technology are the places where the end of the world is predicted. Apocalypse is looming. This seminar will explore various fields where this transformation is taking place. The following menaces will be considered: nuclear war, climate change, gene editing, synthetic biology, advanced artificial intelligence. Among the philosophies that will be summoned: the post-Heideggerian critique of technoscience (Hannah Arendt and Günther Anders), Hans Jonas' Ethics of the Future, the concept of existential risk (Nick Bostrom) and the instructor's concept of Enlightened Doomsaying. Appeal to literary works and films will be part of the program
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5
Instructors: Dupuy, J. (PI)
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