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The nutshell kings: Why is human space settlement controversial in the first place?

Cirkovic, Milan M. (2022) The nutshell kings: Why is human space settlement controversial in the first place? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recent years have seen both a revival of space programs, mostly propelled by private industry’s increasing interest, but also the emergence of strong resistance to human space activities on several levels. This is partly a manifestation of a wider counter-Enlightenment Zeitgeist, as detectable in other sectors of public life in the West, and partly a reaction against the widespread engagement of the private sector. While it still does not dominate the discourse on space issues, space skepticism is surprisingly wide-ranging and decentralized phenomenon, gathering together such heterogeneous strands of thought from pro-Enlightenment liberals to rabid “deep ecology” activists to philosophical pessimists to antiglobalists of all colors. There has been precious little in way of actively opposing this cultural trend so far, however. While space engineers and entrepreneurs conduct their “business as usual”, there are plethora of risks hidden in this cultural climate, esp. if one adopts much repeated (and rarely adequately understood) maxim that “politics is downstream of culture”. The present article will review major strands of thought within this “big tent” cultural movement, offer plausible counter-arguments to space skeptics, and outline important cultural and public-outreach work which needs to be done to balance the scales.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cirkovic, Milan M.mcirkovic@aob.rs0000-0002-6634-1321
Additional Information: 16 pages, accepted in "Futures"
Keywords: futures studies; anthropocentrism; space policy; philosophy of technology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cultural Evolution
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Technology
Depositing User: Milan Cirkovic
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2022 12:54
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2022 12:54
Item ID: 21071
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cultural Evolution
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Technology
Date: 29 July 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21071

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