Philosophy Now 65 (65):12-13 (2008)

Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
The suggestion that philosophers are responsible for global warming seems, on the face of it, absurd. However, that we might cause global warming has been known for over a century. If we had had in existence a more rigorous kind of academic inquiry devoted to promoting human welfare, giving priority to problems of living, humanity might have become aware of the dangers of global warming long ago, and might have taken steps to meet these dangers decades ago. That we do not have academic inquiry of this type, giving priority to problems of living and able to warn humanity of the impending disaster of global warming, is the result of a philosophical mistake – a mistake about what constitutes rigorous intellectual inquiry. This is a mistake of philosophers. Thus philosophers, in failing to grasp the profound intellectual and humanitarian failings of academia as it is at present organized (the outcome of implementing a seriously defective philosophy of inquiry) can perhaps be said to be responsible for global warming.
Keywords Global Warming  Responsibility of Philosophers  Knowledge-Inquiry  Wisdom-Inquiry  Need for Academic Revolution  Irrationality of Academia  Failure to Give Priority to Problems of Living
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ISBN(s) 0961-5970
DOI philnow20086594
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