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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides the structural framework for the historical chapters of the book Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics. It outlines how the future has been told, tamed, traded and transformed and how it is traversed today in a way that is superimposed on those earlier relations. It distinguishes the embedded, embodied, contextual future from contemporary perspectives on a decontextualised future emptied of content, which is open to exploration and exploitation, calculation and control. The chapter then shows how the emptying of the future is implicated in both the progress of industrial-capitalist societies and the major problems that they face today. In the concluding section it suggests that there is much to learn from the conceptual tools honed by predecessors in their efforts to render the future more tangible.

Keywords: future; industrial-capitalist societies; predecessors



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