1st Edition

Life Imaginaries, Environmental Rationality, and Dialogue of Savoirs The Sustainability of Life

By Enrique Leff Copyright 2025
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    Shifting from the idea that our current ‘environmental question’ arises from the history of metaphysics and its focus on ‘Being’ over ‘Life’ – and the attendant explorations of the thought of Heidegger and Heraclitus – this book unfolds a philosophical and sociological proposal for transitioning towards the sustainability of life.

    With a focus on the imaginaries of life of indigenous peoples, it moves from political ecology to a political ontology, centred on the territorial, cultural and existential rights of various Peoples of the Earth. Arguing for an environmental rationality founded on three principles – the diversity of life, a politics of difference and an ethics of otherness – it calls for a dialogue of knowledge in a World of manifold worlds, for an historical transition towards sustainability of life on our planet.

    It will therefore appeal to scholars of sociology, philosophy and political theory working on questions of social and environmental justice, sustainability, and alternatives to capitalism.

    1. Imaginaries of Life


    Cornelius Castoriadis: The Imaginary Institution of Life     

    Social Imaginaries of the Limit Laws of Nature                

    Cultural Imaginaries of Entropy and Negentropy                                                   


    2. Political Ontology           

    The Subjected Subject and the Reinvention of Collective Identities                         

    Power in Knowledge and the Politicization of Ontology                  

    The loa en ek The The Postmodern Turn of Political Ontology              


    3. The Rationality of Modernity and the Emancipation of Life

    Max Weber: the Rationality of the Modern World

    The Philosophical Category of Environmental Rationality

    Environmental Rationality, Otherness, and Dialogue of Savoirs

    Jürgen Habermas and Communicative Rationality

    Emmanuel Levinas and the Ethics of Otherness


    4. The Historical Transition toward the Sustainability of Life on Earth       


    Thinking Life in the Immanence of Life

    Conditions and Senses of Life: The “Truth of Being” and the Rexistence of Life

    The World of Gestell, Techno-economic Rationality, and the Immanence of Life Territorializing Environmental Rationality and Reinventing Life Territories

    Horizons of Sustainability and the Dialogue of Knowledge/Savoirs


    Epilogue: Recollecting Human Thinking from the Degradation of Life                                           


    Enrique Leff is Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Social Research and the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Emeritus Researcher at the National Council of Humanities, Science, and Technology (CONAHCyT), Mexico. He was the former coordinator of the Environmental Training Network for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Environment Program. He is the author of Physis, Biopower, and Biothermodynamics: The Fire of Life (Routledge, 2024), Heidegger in the Face of the Environmental Question: The Immanence of Life (Routledge, 2023), Political Ecology: Deconstructing Capital and Territorializing Life (2021) and Green Production: Towards an Environmental Rationality (1995).