The project flows from Aner Barzilay's doctoral dissertation on Michel Foucault’s philosophy of history and seeks to apply some of its conclusions to the present by reflecting on how the philosophy of history – which was one of the pillars of modern thought – may be deployed in order to illuminate the contemporary discourse surrounding the global climate crisis. By applying this prism to issues that are currently handled either by political theory or natural science, it seeks to situate the discourse of the global climate crisis and the political paralysis surrounding it in historical context by examining the substitution of philosophical notions of historicity by geological and planetary conceptions of time that were imported from the earth sciences. Framed as a critical intervention in recent debates, it seeks to juxtapose the discourse of the climate crisis with the decline of historicity in political and philosophical discourse over the past fifty years by attempting to spell out the tacit, underlying political stakes of the "Anthropocene".
The proposed project is based on my doctoral dissertation in which I reconstructed Foucault’s discovery of Nietzsche’s philosophy in the 1950s and claimed that this crucial period in Foucault‘s intellectual biography holds the key to his philosophy of history. I argue that Nietzsche’s maxim to replace metaphysical philosophy with historical philosophy explains more than Foucault’s critique of philosophy and science, for it can also account for the seemingly incoherent character of Foucault’s own oeuvre.