Lee, Nick and Motzkau, Johanna
Varieties of biosocial imagination: reframing responses to climate change and antibiotic resistance.
Science, Technology & Human Values, 38(4) pp. 447–469.
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The authors present climate change and antibiotic resistance as emergent biosocial phenomena – ongoing products of massively multiple interactions amongst human lifestyles and broader life processes. They argue that response to climate change and antibiotic resistance is often framed by two varieties of biosocial imagination. Anthropocentric imaginations privilege the question of human distinctiveness. Anthropomorphic imaginations privilege the question of whether biosocial processes can be modelled in terms of centres of moral and causal responsibility. Together, these frame the matter of response in terms of deliberate human action. The authors argue that, considered as emergent biosocial phenomena, climate change and antibiotic resistance ‘diffract’ deliberate human action and thus limit the value of this frame by rendering the human/nonhuman and intended/nonintended distinctions that are crucial to its practical operation locally irrelevant. Alternative biosocial imaginations currently developing around climate change and antibiotic resistance that allow for ‘diffraction’ and therefore frame response differently are considered.
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