Calamity Theory

Three Critiques of Existential Risk

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Joshua Schuster
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Derek Woods

A new philosophical field has emerged. “Existential risk” studies any real or hypothetical human extinction event in the near or distant future. This movement examines catastrophes ranging from runaway global warming to nuclear warfare to malevolent artificial intelligence, deploying a curious mix of utilitarian ethics, statistical risk analysis, and, controversially, a transhuman advocacy that would aim to supersede almost all extinction scenarios. The proponents of existential risk thinking, led by Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, have seen their work gain immense popularity, attracting endorsement from Bill Gates and Elon Musk, millions of dollars, and millions of views. 

Calamity Theory is the first book to examine the rise of this thinking and its failures to acknowledge the ways some communities and lifeways are more at risk than others and what it implies about human extinction.

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Metadata

  • isbn
    978-1-4529-6700-4
  • issn
    2373-5074
  • publisher
    University of Minnesota Press
  • publisher place
    Minneapolis, MN
  • restrictions
    Please see the Creative Commons website for details about the restrictions associated with the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
  • rights
    Calamity Theory: Three Critiques of Existential Risk by Joshua Schuster and Derek Woods is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
  • rights holder
    Joshua Schuster and Derek Woods
  • series number
    48
  • series title
  • doi