Globes. Spheres II: Macrospherology

Globes Spheres II - Peter Sloterdijk1.048 pages  Publisher Semiotext(e) • Distributor The MIT Press

Translated by Wieland Hoban


All history is the history of struggles for spheric expansion.–from Globes

In Globes — the second, and longest, volume in Peter Sloterdijk’s celebrated magnum opus Spheres trilogy — the author attempts nothing less than to uncover the philosophical foundations of the political history — the history of humanity — of the last two thousand years. The first, well-received volume of the author’s Spheres trilogy, Bubbles, dealt with microspheres: the fact that individuals, from the fetal stage to childhood, are never alone, because they always incorporate the Other into themselves and align themselves with it. With Globes, Sloterdijk opens up a history of the political world using the morphological models of the orb and the globe, and argues that all previous statements about globalization have suffered from shortsightedness. For him, globalization begins with the ancient Greeks, who represented the whole world through the shape of the orb. With the discovery of America and the first circumnavigations of the earth, the orb was replaced by the globe. This second globalization is currently giving way to the third, which we are living through today, as the general virtuality of all conditions leads to a growing spatial crisis.

Peter Sloterdijk tells here the true story of globalization: from the geometrization of the sky in Plato and Aristotle to the circumnavigation of the last orb — the earth — by ships, capital, and signals.