Climate change, collective harm and legitimate coercion

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (2):171-193 (2011)
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Liberalism faces a tension between its commitment to minimal interference with individual liberty and the urgent need for strong collective action on global climate change. This paper attempts to resolve that tension. It does so on the one hand by defending an expanded model of collective moral responsibility, according to which a set of individuals can be responsible, qua ?putative group?, for harm resulting from the predictable aggregation of their individual acts. On the other, it defends a collectivized version of the harm principle. The claim is that the collectivized principle pushes the burden of argument, against coercively enforced measures to curtail climate change and compensate its victims, onto the global elite collectively responsible for environmental harms. Some such potential arguments are briefly considered and rejected



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Elizabeth Cripps
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Climate Change and Individual Duties to Reduce GHG Emissions.Christian Baatz - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):1-19.
Is there an obligation to reduce one’s individual carbon footprint?Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (2):168-188.
Joint Moral Duties.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):58-74.
Inconsequential Contributions to Global Environmental Problems: A Virtue Ethics Account.Paul Knights - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):527-545.
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World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1-7.
The realm of rights.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1990 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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