The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

Research Centre run jointly between the Departments of Sociology and English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths University, London

UG 2021/2022

Theme ’21-’22: Thinking through Nature & the Climate Crisis with Non-Western Philosophies

The Goldsmiths Undergraduate Philosophy Circle is open to all Goldsmiths students interested in reading and discussing philosophical texts together. 

Meetings: on Fridays, 4-6pm; 3 x Autumn Term; 4 x Spring Term (see dates below)

Location: TBD

Convenor: Svenja Bromberg (Lecturer in Sociology), s.bromberg [at]

This year, our topic for the Undergraduate Philosophy Circle is “Thinking through Nature & the Climate with Non-Western Philosophies”. In the autumn term we will explore postcolonial and Latin American approaches that challenge essentialist notions of nature in different ways, often by situating themselves between philosophy and another discipline such as history or anthropology.

In the spring term we will move to focus on nature and concerns with the environment in Asian philosophy by reading texts that deal with these concepts in the metaphysical sense as well as their political and ethical implications.

The summer term can be used for participants to self-organise an event related to this year’s topic. If you have an idea or would like to join the organising group, please get in touch during the meetings or via email.

The format of the meetings is an open discussion for around 2 hours with a break in the middle. Please always read the key reading in advance so that you come prepared. The discussion is usually introduced by a volunteer who speaks to the text and the author for around 5-10 minutes. It’s quite informal, everyone contributes as much as they like.

If you want to join the reading group and receive the materials in advance (shared via Google Drive), please email

DateKey Readings
Autumn Term
Friday, 29th OctChakrabarty, Dipesh (2021) “Four Theses”, in The Climate of History in a Planetary Age, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, pp. 23-48.  
Friday, 19th of NovEscobar, Arturo (1999) After nature, steps to an antiessentialist political ecology. Current Anthropology, Vol. 40, pp. 1–30.    
Friday, 10th of DecViveiros De Castro, Eduardo (2015) ‘Nature – The World as Affect and Perspective’, in The Relative Native – Essays on Indigenous Conceptual Worlds, Chicago: Hau Books, pp. 249-272.
Spring Term
Friday, 21st of JanJames, George Alfred (2014) ‘Environment and Environmental Philosophy in India’, in: Callicott and McRae,Environmental Philosophy in Asian Traditions of Thought, SUNY Press, pp. 3-23.    
Friday, 11th of FebChai, David (2016) “Rethinking the Daoist Concept of Nature,” by David Chai 2018, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 43:3–4, pp. 259–274.  
Friday, 11th of MarchPang-White, Ann A. (2016) “Daoist ci (慈), Feminist Ethics of Care, and the Dilemma of Nature,” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 43:3–4, pp. 275–294.    

Lai, Karyn L. (2014) Conceptual Foundations for Environmental Ethics: A Daoist Perspective, in: Callicott and McRae, Environmental Philosophy in Asian Traditions of Thought, SUNY Press, pp.173-195.  
Friday, 25th of MarchJullien, Isaac (2007) “Feeding the Body / Feeding the Soul: The Symbolic Divide”, in: Vital Nourishment – Departing from Happiness, New York: Zone Books.
Summer TermStudent-led event (to be planned)