CAP (Centre for Art and Philosophy) is an interdisciplinary research platform based at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Most of its members have been or are still working at the department as lecturers, researchers or affiliates.

Ecosophical Activism between Micropolitics and Mesopolitics


24 May 2012: A debate between Henk Oosterling (Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam and strategic advisor for the Integrality Renovation Project ‘Pact op Zuid’) and Isabelle Stengers (Professor of Philosophy at Université Libre de Bruxelles) chaired by Sjoerd van Tuinen (Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam).

For the transcription of this debate, see

In The Three Ecologies (1989), the psychotherapist, activist and philosopher Félix Guattari proposed the concept of ecosophy in order to embed ideas of social liberation and emancipation within an environmental framework. Ecosophy studies and works with the physical, social and mental conditions for the production of subjectivity. In (Very) Late Capitalism, these conditions are under pressure like never before whilst simultaneously offering a plethora of new opportunities.

Coming from different backgrounds, two philosophical activists working in the slipstream of Guattari, Oosterling and Stengers, have each on their own proposed the concept of ‘interesse’ – ‘being (in-)between’, but also ‘concern’ – as a starting point for an ecosophical exploration and evaluation of contemporary conditions of subjectivation. This debate is dedicated to an exploration of the ethical, political and pedagogical implications of their work.

Cooperation between Rotterdam Skillcity ( and Centre for Art and Philosophy (


Henk Oosterling is Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Among his many books are Door schijn bewogen. Naar een hypokritiek van de xenofobe rede (1996), Chaos ex machina: Het ecosofisch werk van Félix Guattari op de kaart gezet (1998) and Radicale middelmatigheid (2000). His latest book, Woorden als daden (2009), describes the projects and philosophy of ‘Rotterdam Skillcity’, a bottom up research model for urban revitalisation and renovation, focused on the singular social-cultural and socio-economic situation of Rotterdam. Oosterling is also strategic advisor for the Integrality Renovation Project ‘Pact op Zuid’. In 2008, he received the ‘Laurenspenning’ for his important role in, and contribution to social and cultural life in Rotterdam.


Isabelle Stengers is Professor of Philosophy at Université Libre de Bruxelles. She became well-known for her collaborations with chemicist and Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigogine in La nouvelle alliance (1978) and Entre le temps et l’éternité (1988). Her own work in the history and philosophy of science includes The Invention of Modern Science (1993) and Cosmopolitics i and ii (2003). Central is her concern for the coherence and vulnerability of practices that have emerged from modern science. This has led her to work with authors from various disciplines, such as etnopsychiatry (Tobie Nathan), drug user groups (Ralet), hypnosis (Leon Chertok), and political activism (Philippe Pignarre). Her most recent books, La sorcellerie capitaliste (2005) en Au temps des catastrophes (2009), describe her political activism, such as her engagement with alterglobalist movements and the resistance against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).


Sjoerd van Tuinen is Professor of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His books include Deleuze and The Fold. A Critical Reader (2010), Deleuze Compendium (2009), and Sloterdijk. Binnenstebuiten denken (Kampen: Klement, 2004). Van Tuinen coordinates the Centre for Art and Philosophy (CAP).