No Other Planet : Introduction and discussion

Practical information
12 February 2024

ENS, meeting room Pavillon Jardin, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris


Visions of utopia – some hopeful, others fearful – have become increasingly prevalent in recent times. No Other Planet (CUP 2022) examines expressions of the utopian imagination with a focus on the pressing challenge of how to inhabit a climate-changed world. Forms of social dreaming are tracked across two domains : political theory and speculative fiction. The analysis aims to both uncover the key utopian and dystopian tendencies in contemporary debates around the Anthropocene ; as well as to develop a political theory of radical transformation that avoids not only debilitating fatalism but also wishful thinking. No Other Planet juxtaposes theoretical interventions, from Bruno Latour to the members of the Dark Mountain collective, with fantasy and science fiction texts by N. K. Jemisin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Margaret Atwood, debating viable futures for a world that will look and feel very different from the one we live in right now.


The ICARUS seminar (Imagination, Creativity, Affect, Reverie, Utopia, Senses) will focus on the interdisciplinary study of the boundary line that separates, for our minds, reality from everything that transcends it. By bringing together philosophy and the cognitive sciences, we will explore the capacities and states (notably imagination and dreaming) that enable us to re-elaborate sensory and affective data and to apprehend the world from new perpectives, even from other worlds or utopias. Drawn into its wanderings and reveries, the mind is capable of producing ideas or objects deemed novel and valuable, in other words, of pispaying creativity. But how far can we take this power that we have received as a species (and perhaps not just us, human beings) ? It is advisable not to fly too close to the sun.

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