EMANUELE COCCIA started off as a scholar of 13th-century philosophy. A philosopher, writer, and Associate Professor at the Ècole des Hautes Ètudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, he now devotes a large part of his work to life in contemporary culture. He is notably the author, in English, of The Sensible Life (Fordham University Press, 2016).
Like an Atmosphere:
By Emanuele Coccia
Philosophy as a Climate of Knowledge
The emergence of philosophy has not been a single, definitive historical event. Rather than a discipline notable for its purpose or method, or for questions and objectives universal across space and time, philosophy is a sort of atmospheric condition, arising suddenlyeverywhere and at all times. It can hold sway over human knowledge for a certain period, but also abruptly vanish, often for reasons unknown, just as mild spring weather or a storm can dissipate at a moment’s notice.