Moral Philosophy Seminar (Monday - Week 8, TT19)

Susan Wolf

This paper outlines and partially defends a ‘cooperative promotional’ model of individual climate justice duties. Individuals should act together with motivated others, through intentionally collective action or combined individual changes, to promote fair, effective, efficient global action on mitigation and adaptation. This model employs expected consequence reasoning. However, it is importantly distinct from utilitarian approaches in (a) being orientated towards a particular end whose collective moral force can be negatively or positively defended and (b) incorporating deontological and individual cost constraints. 

Fulfilling one’s cooperative promotional duty will almost certainly involve, but is by no means limited to, cutting one’s own carbon footprint. Thus, the paper rejects the claim that individuals must minimise this footprint on grounds independent of, and lexically prior to, promotional considerations. Two further complexities are then unpacked. One concerns demandingness. The other results from different understandings of fairness and comprehensive moral views within those motivated to tackle climate change, especially given the possible actions of those not so motivated.

Convener: Ed Lamb

Members of the audience are invited to join the speaker and the convener for drinks and dinner at a local restaurant following the talk (at their own expense). There will be some limit on the number of people who can attend. Please RSVP to Ed Lamb to reserve a place. Please note that we will no longer be going to dinner afterwards at Somerville College to continue questioning the speaker. In future terms the time of the seminar may be brought forward to 15.00 - 17.00, which would make it possible for all to go to pre-dinner drinks. Please let Ed Lamb know if this change of time would make you more or less likely to attend.