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Presidential Lecture: Achille Mbembe

Presidential Lecture in the Humanities

"Futures of Life & Futures of Reason"

October 20, 2020


Achille Mbembe

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

For a long time, the human race has been concerned with how life emerges and the conditions of its evolution and persistence. Increasingly, debates about life futures are framed in terms of the conditions under which life ends. In this lecture recorded on October 20, 2020, the philosopher and political theorist Achille Mbembe argues that the most important feature of Earth is its habitability. Understanding planetary habitability and the reasons why life is not evenly shared over the surface of the Earth may be crucial for the survival of all living species.