There are now at least 80–90 proposed alternatives to the term “the Anthropocene”, following critique mainly from the social sciences. The most popular seem to be Moore’s Capitalocene and Haraway’s Chthulucene, but there are others, such as: Hornborg’s Technocene, Mann’s Homogenocene, Wilson’s Eremocene, Stiegler’s neganthropocene, Parikka’s Anthrobscene… Furthermore, similar recognitions and critiques have been made in urban studies (Urban Age, Planetary Urbanization…). What should we make of this multiplicity? Those propositions are approached here from the philosophical and cultural studies perspectives, in the spirit of Galison’s trading zones and Bal’s travelling concepts. They are treated with engaged pluralism (introduced through geography and urban studies) and, because of their eschatological dimension, with (secular) negative theology. The Urbanocene is also outlined using Nowak’s ontological imagination. None of the propositions are sufficient on their own. Most contribute to a better understanding of the Anthropocene. Those concerning the role of cities and urbanization (Astycene, Urbanocene, Urbicene, Metropocene) are insufficient. This entails that there is a need for an Urbanocene proposition to be formulated. This proposition draft is briefly outlined here by linking an example of exceeded planetary boundaries (levels of phosphorus and nitrogen) with urbanization, drawing on the works of Mumford and Gandy.
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