Gaia or Knowledge without Spheres
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Since Plato’s time the sphere has been seen as the best, most perfect, and beautiful geometrical figure; it’s supposed to say everything at once, put everything in its proper order, and provide the whole picture. The obsession with spheres has nothing to do with practice. So why do we keep thinking of knowledge as a sphere? Is there a way to get rid of the sphere as a basic model of understanding? I’ll make three points in this chapter: one about data and the aesthetics of knowledge, another about the strangeness of naturalism, and a last one about an old discrepancy between two kinds of spheres. In conclusion, I will show how that discrepancy can help us see the challenges of confronting the Anthropocene and Gaia.