The Anthropocene: scientific meaning and philosophical significance


  • João Mendes



The “Anthropocene” is a relatively new and unprecedented concept, used to signify the most recent chapter in Earth History in which our species has become a major geological and geomorphic agent, and a controversial hypothesis stating that this new state of our planet constitutes a scientific fact. Both claims are being debated within the Geosciences, but also in the fields of the Social Sciences and the Humanities. This paper aims to produce some insight on the complementary topics of: (a) the meaning of the Anthropocene as a scientific concept and hypothesis; (b) its philosophical significance, namely, what ontological entity is the Anthropocene and how do we have epistemological access to it.


O “Antropoceno” é um conceito relativamente novo e sem precedentes, usado para significar o capítulo mais recente da História da Terra no qual a nossa espécie se tornou um importante agente geológico e geomórfico, assim como uma hipótese polémica que afirma que este novo estado de nosso planeta constitui um facto. Ambas as reivindicações vêm sendo debatidas no âmbito das Geociências, mas também na área das Ciências Sociais e Humanas. Este artigo tem como objetivo produzir alguma luz sobre os tópicos complementares de: (a) o significado do Antropoceno como um conceito e uma hipótese científicos; (b) a sua relevância filosófica, a saber, que entidade ontológica é o Antropoceno e como temos acesso epistemológico a ele.


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Como Citar

Mendes, J. (2020). The Anthropocene: scientific meaning and philosophical significance. Anthropocenica. Revista De Estudos Do Antropoceno E Ecocrítica, 1.