In Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier & Geoffrey Rockwell (eds.), Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. Open Book Publishers. pp. 3-35 (2021)

Authors
Howard Leo Nye
University of Alberta
Abstract
Why should we refrain from doing things that, taken collectively, are environmentally destructive, if our individual acts seem almost certain to make no difference? According to the expected consequences approach, we should refrain from doing these things because our individual acts have small risks of causing great harm, which outweigh the expected benefits of performing them. Several authors have argued convincingly that this provides a plausible account of our moral reasons to do things like vote for policies that will reduce our countries’ greenhouse gas emissions, adopt plant-based diets, and otherwise reduce our individual emissions. But this approach has recently been challenged by authors like Bernward Gesang and Julia Nefsky. Gesang contends that it may be genuinely impossible for our individual emissions to make a morally relevant difference. Nefsky argues more generally that the expected consequences approach cannot adequately explain our reasons not to do things if there is no precise fact of the matter about whether their outcomes are harmful. In the following chapter, author Howard Nye defends the expected consequences approach against these objections. Nye contends that Gesang has shown at most that our emissions could have metaphysically indeterministic effects that lack precise objective chances. He argues, moreover, that the expected consequences approach can draw upon existing extensions to cases of indeterminism and imprecise probabilities to deliver the result that we have the same moral reasons to reduce our emissions in Gesang’s scenario as in deterministic scenarios. Nye also shows how the expected consequences approach can draw upon these extensions to handle Nefsky’s concern about the absence of precise facts concerning whether the outcomes of certain acts are harmful. The author concludes that the expected consequences approach provides a fully adequate account of our moral reasons to take both political and personal action to reduce our ecological footprints.
Keywords Climate Change, Collective Responsibility, Social and Political Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, Collective Action Problems, Expected Consequences Approach, Vagueness, Decision-Theoretic Frameworks, Imprecise Credences, Imprecise Values
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Truth and Probability.Frank Ramsey - 1926 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 52-94.
Do I Make a Difference?Shelly Kagan - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (2):105-141.
Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135-167.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Collective Action Problems and Conflicting Obligations.Brian Talbot - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2239-2261.
Imprecise Evidence Without Imprecise Credences.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2735-2758.
Reliabilism and Imprecise Credences.Weng Hong Tang - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1463-1480.
Individual Responsibility for Climate Change.Melany Banks - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):42-66.
A Forward Looking Decision Rule for Imprecise Credences.Rohan Sud - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):119-139.
Chancy Accuracy and Imprecise Credence.Jennifer Carr - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):67-81.
Credal Dilemmas.Sarah Moss - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):665-683.
Imprecise Epistemic Values and Imprecise Credences.B. A. Levinstein - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):741-760.
Epistemic Conservativity and Imprecise Credence.Jason Konek - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Normative Decision Theory.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):755-772.
Sharing Responsibility for Divesting From Fossil Fuels.Eric S. Godoy - 2017 - Environmental Values 26 (6):693-710.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-07-21

Total views
91 ( #129,790 of 2,519,857 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #32,637 of 2,519,857 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes