Plasticity, recycling and procrastination: the dialectic between resistance and change

Jeyaraj, P. 2012. Plasticity, recycling and procrastination: the dialectic between resistance and change. Westminster Law Review. 1 (1), pp. 25-37.

TitlePlasticity, recycling and procrastination: the dialectic between resistance and change
AuthorsJeyaraj, P.
Abstract

This article offers a critique of the adoption of incentivised recycling policies in the UK, through an exploration of Hegel's dialectic and concept of plasticity, as developed by French philosopher Catherine Malabou. With reference to Malabou’s use of neuroscientific research, it argues that the brain can be viewed as a metaphor for the connections between people in the world, with neural pathways representing habits that can be formed and resist deformation. What plasticity captures is our propensity to procrastinate, both individually and socially. I argue that the plastic brain represents the connections between all entities, that is human beings and the environment. It is suggested that UK policies will only succeed in diverting waste from landfill by means of retraining our habitual behaviour away from throwing unwanted waster away and towards recycling. The article then considers how the work of Hegel and Malabou can be used to demonstrate that recycling is a matter of maintaining the connectivity of the whole plastic brain, whilst waste disposal disrupts this connectivity, like Alzheimers or some other degenerative condition, through being forgotten 6. Furthermore, because the environment is incorporated in the plastic brain through a post-humanist approach, it can be argued that discarding waste can also be taken as a metaphor for marginalising people in wasted lives, because they are no longer needed or don’t meet requirements anymore. The plasticity of the dialectic shows that resistance or procrastination is an essential or natural element of recycling, which is therefore naturally going to take time.

KeywordsHegel, Catherine Malabou, waste, recycling, plasticity, incentives
JournalWestminster Law Review
Journal citation1 (1), pp. 25-37
Year01 Apr 2012
PublisherWestminster Law Review
Web address (URL)http://www.westminsterlawreview.org/wlr1.php
Publication dates
Published01 Apr 2012

Related outputs

Incentives and the Culture of Recycling
Jeyaraj, P. 2014. Incentives and the Culture of Recycling. in: Kaime, T. (ed.) International Climate Change Law and Policy: Cultural legitimacy in adaptation and mitigation Abingdon Routledge. pp. 167-182

Law as a regulator: steering waste management by steering itself through its relationship with the environment
Jeyaraj, P. 2013. Law as a regulator: steering waste management by steering itself through its relationship with the environment. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster Law School

Comment: The Instagram Lawscape
Jeyaraj, P. and Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas 2013. Comment: The Instagram Lawscape. Westminster Law Review. 3 (1).

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8z405/plasticity-recycling-and-procrastination-the-dialectic-between-resistance-and-change


Share this
Tweet
Email