About Us

Attila Szigeti

Attila Szigeti holds a Joint PhD in Philosophy from the Paris XII – Val de Marne University and Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj. He is Assistant Professor at the Hungarian Department of Philosophy, Babeş-Bolyai University, where he teaches Modern and Contemporary Philosophy and is also coordinator of the Critical Theory and Multicultural Studies MA Program. His main research areas are: Contemporary Continental Philosophy, French Phenomenology, Critical Theory, Critical Environmental Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. He has published one book and several articles in these fields, and has been visiting researcher in Paris, Copenhagen, Budapest etc.


Topic: From the ontology to the politics of the Anthropocene in the age of climate crisis

Abstract: This research is structured around three central topics of the Anthropocene discourse in the environmental humanities and social sciences:

  1. The ontology of nature in the Anthropocene

The aim here is to argue against ontological “hybridism”, the fashionable postmodern thesis of the interpenetration between nature and society, for a materialist ontology which maintains the analytical distinction between them. The social and the natural are parts of the same material world, but social material relations (emergent properties of society, like specific socio-political and economic relations) and natural material relations (emergent properties of nature, like global warming) are two different systems, which became “coupled” in the case of climate change.

  1. Socio-historical and political conceptualization of the Anthropocene

Naturalistic-deterministic explanations of the Anthropocene are describing it as the inevitable consequence of a predetermined, teleological development, e.g. the technological development of the human species. Alternative theoretical proposals are emphasizing that the ecological crisis should be understood not as an “anthropogenic”, but as a “sociogenic” phenomenon, emerging in a historically contingent context of particular socio-economic relations.

The aim of my research here is to examine one of these alternative proposals, the so-called “Capitalocene” discourse, which argues that climate/environmental crisis is not caused by humanity as a homogenous transhistorical agent, but by the historically specific relations of re/production and property of capitalist modernity. More specifically I would like to examine how an expanded labour theory of value relates to the problem of the value of nature.

  1. Political theory and political economy of green transition

With environmental political theory and political economy as theoretical background, the aim of the research here is the normative evaluation of the current political-economic policy responses to the climate/ecological crisis: green growth, Green New Deal, degrowth, ecosocialist etc. proposals.