This paper examines what agents should do when others fail to comply with their responsibilities to prevent dangerous climate change. It distinguishes between six different possible responses to noncompliance. These include what I term (1) 'target modification' (watering down the extent to which we seek to prevent climate change), (2) ‘responsibility reallocation’ (reassigning responsibilities to other duty bearers), (3) ‘burden shifting I’ (allowing duty bearers to implement policies which impose unjust burdens on others, (4) 'burden shifting II’ (allowing (...) some to protect peoples rights in ways which impose otherwise unjustified burdens on the duty bearers, (5) 'compromising moral ideals' (permitting agents to compromise non-justice ideals that they are otherwise bound by); and (6) ‘promoting compliance (implementing policies and creating institutions which reduce noncompliance). It concludes by outlining a methodological framework for evaluating these options, and by setting out my tentative and provisional evaluation of which responses are the least bad. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes between five different approaches to social discount rates in climate change economics, criticizes two of these, and explains how the other three are to some degree mutually compatible. It aims to shed some new light on a longstanding debate in climate change economics between so-called “descriptivists” and “prescriptivists” about social discounting. The ultimate goal is to offer a sketch of the conceptual landscape that makes visible some important facets of the debate that very often go (...) unacknowledged. (shrink)
The evidence is overwhelming that members of particularly wealthy and industry-owning segments of Western societies have much larger carbon footprints than most other humans, and thereby contribute far more than their “fair share” to the enormous problem of climate change. Nonetheless, in this paper we shall counsel against a strategy focused primarily on blaming and shaming and propose, instead, a change in the ethical conversation about climate change. We recommend a shift in the ethical framework from a (...) focus on the role of individual agents and a conversation about guilt; in its place, we propose a relational approach to public health ethics that is centered around the idea of relational solidarity. We begin by briefly reviewing the most common—and woefully inadequate—approach in the West to reducing emissions and responding to the health-related impacts of climate change. We then go on to propose a relational approach to public health ethics as an alternative ethical framework that better fits the moral problems associated with climate change and holds promise for a more meaningful response. (shrink)
Climate change – and its most dangerous consequence, the rapid overheating of the planet – is not the offspring of a natural procedure; instead, it is human-induced. It is only the aftermath of a specific pattern of conomic development, one that focuses mainly on economic growth rather than on quality of life and sustainability. Since climate change is a major threat not only to millions of humans, but also to numerous non-human species and other forms of life, as (...) well as to the equilibrium and the viability of the very planet, addressing it is of dire importance. In this chapter it will be argued that addressing the threat of climate change is primarily a task and a challenge for ethics, since the stabilization and gradual amelioration of the situation requires abandoning an up to now dominant model of life, longestablished customs and a so far cogent system of moral values. It will be further maintained that this for ethics might – or, even, should – become a new categorical imperative, since preserving the viability of the planet is a fundamental moral duty not only towards the existing members of the moral community, but also towards future generations. (shrink)
Climate change will cause large numbers of casualties, perhaps extending over thousands of years. Casualties have a clear moral significance that economic and other technical measures of harm tend to mask. They are, moreover, universally understood, whereas other measures of harm are not. Therefore, the harms of climate change should regularly be expressed in terms of casualties by such agencies such as IPCC’s Working Group III, in addition to whatever other measures are used. Casualty estimates should, furthermore, be (...) used to derive estimates of casualties per emission source up to a given date. Such estimates would have wide margins of error, but they would add substantially to humanity’s grasp of the moral costs of particular greenhouse gas emissions. (shrink)
This essay examines the relationship between climate change and human rights. It argues that climate change is unjust, in part, because it jeopardizes several core rights – including the right to life, the right to food and the right to health. It then argues that adopting a human rights framework has six implications for climate policies. To give some examples, it argues that this helps us to understand the concept of “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (UNFCCC, Article 2). In addition (...) to this, it argues that if we adopt a human rights framework then any climate policies should also honour human rights, and so mitigation policies, for example, should not compromise people’s enjoyment of their human rights. A third implication, I argue, is that in addition to duties of mitigation and adaptation there will also be – if rights are violated – duties of compensation too. (shrink)
Climate change is ‘a complex problem raising issues across and between a large number of disciplines, including physical and life sciences, political science, economics, and psychology, to name just a few’ (Gardiner 2006: 397). It is also a moral problem. Therefore, in this chapter, I will consider what kind of a contribution an ethical theory called ‘contractualism’ can make to the climate change debates. This chapter first introduces contractualism. It then describes a simple climate change scenario. The (...) third section explains what kind of moral obligations we would have in that situation according to contractualism. Finally, the last section discusses some of the advantages and problems of the sketched view. These discussions should help us to better understand contractualism and illustrate how contractualism could perhaps enable us to come to grips with some of the more difficult moral aspects of climate change. (shrink)
The intuition of neutrality, as discussed by John Broome, says that the addition of people does not, by itself, produce or subtract value from the world. Such intuition allows us to disregard the effects of climate change policy onto the size of populations, effectively allowing us to make policy recommendations. Broome has argued that the intuition has to go. Orsi responds by urging a normative (rather than Broome's axiological) interpretation of neutrality in terms of an exclusionary permission to disregard (...) the value of adding lives. He explores justifications and limits of such permission by referring to the prospect of human extinction. (shrink)
Climate change poses grave threats to many people, including the most vulnerable. This prompts the question of who should bear the burden of combating ?dangerous? climate change. Many appeal to the Polluter Pays Principle. I argue that it should play an important role in any adequate analysis of the responsibility to combat climate change, but suggest that it suffers from three limitations and that it needs to be revised. I then consider the Ability to Pay Principle and (...) consider four objections to this principle. I suggest that, when suitably modified, it can supplement the Polluter Pays Principle. (shrink)
Inspired by Heidegger’s concept of the clearing of being, and by Wittgenstein’s ideas on human practice, Theodore Schatzki offers a novel approach to understanding the constitution and transformation of social life. Key to the account he develops here is the context in which social life unfolds—the "site of the social"—as a contingent and constantly metamorphosing mesh of practices and material orders. Schatzki’s analysis reveals the advantages of this site ontology over the traditional individualist, holistic, and structuralist accounts that have dominated (...) social theory since the mid-nineteenth century. A special feature of the book is its development of the theoretical argument by sustained reference to two historical examples: the medicinal herb business of a Shaker village in the 1850s and contemporary day trading on the Nasdaq market. First focusing on the relative simplicity of Shaker life to illuminate basic ontological characteristics of the social site, Schatzki then uses the sharp contrast with the complex and dynamic practice of day trading to reveal what makes this approach useful as a general account of social existence. Along the way he provides new insights into many major issues in social theory, including the nature of social order, the significance of agency, the distinction between society and nature, the forms of social change, and how the social present affects its future. (shrink)
When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expressly aimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary environmental threat in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while making justice a primary objective of global climate policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers. -/- Atmospheric (...) Justice is the first single-authored work of political theory that addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout this incisive study, Steve Vanderheiden points toward ways to achieve environmental justice by exploring how climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these aims into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring in the needs of future generations. Vanderheiden also demonstrates how political theory can contribute to reaching a better understanding of the proper human response to climate change. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within political theory, he illustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. -/- Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice makes an important step toward providing us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice. (shrink)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC’s novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
Obstacles to achieving a global climate treaty include disagreements about questions of justice raised by the UNFCCC's principle that countries should respond to climate change by taking cooperative action "in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions". Aiming to circumvent such disagreements, Climate Change Justice authors Eric Posner and David Weisbach argue against shaping treaty proposals according to requirements of either distributive or corrective justice. The USA's climate envoy, Todd (...) Stern, takes a similar position. In this article I explain the practical and theoretical drawbacks of Posner & Weisbach's welfarist perspective and propose an alternative. I show that their arguments fail to rule out John Rawls' non-utilitarian, political conception of international justice and human rights, the Law of Peoples. On this basis I develop a conception of climate justice that highlights implications of some of Rawls' principles and adds a principle for determining fair shares of climate -treaty-related benefits and burdens. I propose this conception as a moral framework for negotiating a treaty that would promote human welfare consistently with requirements of justice, and I argue that a treaty proposal satisfying these requirements could best satisfy Posner & Weisbach's own feasibility criteria. (shrink)
The topic of this paper is the complex interaction between attention, fixation, and one species of change blindness. The two main interpretations of the target phenomenon are the ‘blindness’ interpretation and the ‘inaccessibility’ interpretation. These correspond to the sparse view (Dennett 1991; Tye, 2007) and the rich view (Dretske 2007; Block, 2007a, 2007b) of visual consciousness respectively. Here I focus on the debate between Fred Dretske and Michael Tye. Section 1 describes the target phenomenon and the dialectics it entails. (...) Section 2 explains how attention and fixation weigh in these debates, and argues that Dretske’s hyper-rich view fails precisely because he overlooks certain effects of attention and fixation. Section 3 explains why Tye’s view is also unsatisfying, mainly because he misconceives the degree of access. Section 4 then puts forward the positive model covariance, which has it that the degree of cognitive access tracks the degree of phenomenology, and contrasts it with Block’s view on the Sperling iconic memory paradigm. The paper ends with a discussion of levels of seeing, which involve crowding, indexing, and other visual phenomena. Change ‘blindness’ is a set of phenomena that was discovered about two decades ago, yet an entirely satisfying understanding is still lacking. To move forward, a more detailed understanding of attention and fixation is called for. (shrink)
Occasions of Identity is an exploration of timeless philosophical issues about persistence, change, time, and sameness. Andre Gallois offers a critical survey of various rival views about the nature of identity and change, and puts forward his own original theory. He supports the idea of occasional identities, arguing that it is coherent and helpful to suppose that things can be identical at one time but distinct at another. Gallois defends this view, demonstrating how it can solve puzzles about (...) persistence dating back to the Ancient Greeks, and investigates the metaphysical consequences of rejecting the necessity and eternity of identities. (shrink)
Based on a crowdsourced truth-value judgment experiment, we provide empirical evidence challenging two classical views in semantics, and we develop a novel account of counterfactuals that combines ideas from inquisitive semantics and causal reasoning. First, we show that two truth-conditionally equivalent clauses can make different semantic contributions when embedded in a counterfactual antecedent. Assuming compositionality, this means that the meaning of these clauses is not fully determined by their truth conditions. This finding has a clear explanation in inquisitive semantics: truth-conditionally (...) equivalent clauses may be associated with different propositional alternatives, each of which counts as a separate counterfactual assumption. Second, we show that our results contradict the common idea that the interpretation of a counterfactual involves minimizing change with respect to the actual state of affairs. Building on techniques from causal reasoning, we propose to replace the idea of minimal change by a distinction between foreground and background for a given counterfactual assumption: the background is held fixed in the counterfactual situation, while the foreground can be varied without any minimality constraint. (shrink)
Of this article's seven experiments, the first five demonstrate that virtually no Americans know the basic global warming mechanism. Fortunately, Experiments 2–5 found that 2–45 min of physical–chemical climate instruction durably increased such understandings. This mechanistic learning, or merely receiving seven highly germane statistical facts, also increased climate-change acceptance—across the liberal-conservative spectrum. However, Experiment 7's misleading statistics decreased such acceptance. These readily available attitudinal and conceptual changes through scientific information disconfirm what we term “stasis theory”—which some researchers and many (...) laypeople varyingly maintain. Stasis theory subsumes the claim that informing people about climate science may be largely futile or even counterproductive—a view that appears historically naïve, suffers from range restrictions, and/or misinterprets some polarization and correlational data. Our studies evidenced no polarizations. Finally, we introduce HowGlobalWarmingWorks.org—a website designed to directly enhance public “climate-change cognition.”. (shrink)
This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) change in scale or metric, (3) change in the importance of dimensions, (4) change in the separability of dimensions, and (5) addition or deletion (...) of dimensions. Given this classification, the conceptual development of empirical theories becomes more gradual and rationalizable. Only the most extreme type—replacement of dimensions—comes close to a revolution. The five types are exemplified and applied in a case study on the development within physics from the original Newtonian mechanics to special relativity theory. (shrink)
In this paper I make the following claims. In order to see anthropogenic climate change as clearly involving moral wrongs and global injustices, we will have to revise some central concepts in these domains. Moreover, climate change threatens another value that cannot easily be taken up by concerns of global justice or moral responsibility.
There are several strategies to promote health in individuals and populations. Two general approaches to health promotion are behavior change and empowerment. The aim of this article is to present those two kinds of strategies, and show that the behavior-change approach has some moral problems, problems that the empowerment approach (on the whole) is better at handling. Two distinct ‘ideal types’ of these practices are presented and scrutinized. Behavior change interventions use various kinds of theories to target (...) people’s behavior, which they do through information, persuasion, coercion and manipulation. Empowerment is a collaborative method where those ‘facilitated’ participate in the change process. Some ethical problems with the behavior-change model are that it does not sufficiently respect the right to autonomy of the individuals involved and risks reducing their ability for autonomy, and that it risks increasing health inequalities. Empowerment, on the other hand, respects the participant’s right to autonomy, tends to increase the ability for autonomy, as well as increasing other coping skills, and is likely to reduce inequalities. A drawback with this approach is that it often takes longer to realize. (shrink)
The public debate on climate change is filled with moral claims. However, scientific knowledge about the role that morality, ethics, and values play in this issue is still scarce. Starting from this research gap, we focus on corporations as central decision makers in modern society and analyze how they respond to societal demands to take responsibility for climate change. While relevant literature on business ethics and climate change either places a high premium on morality or presents a (...) strong skeptical bias, our sociological model depicts morality as an indeterminate force: it can lead to both workable solutions or merely reinforce the status quo, depending on what different corporations make of it. We describe, on the one side, the diffusion of moral values in the media discourse on climate change and, on the other side, the specific responses of corporations. While the media discourse generates a pressure on corporations to act responsibly, their moral claims do not provide clear advice for action. As a result, morality becomes available to organizations as a medium that can be re-specified according to their internal dynamics. Corporations transform moral values into something compatible with their own structures through a variety of different responses: introducing formal ethical structures (e.g., codes of conduct), initiating value-oriented projects, or developing informal moral norms, and so on. In some occurrences, morality becomes a mere façade, while in others it serves as a decision-making criterion and deeply influences core activities in firms. (shrink)
John Broome claims that there is a sacrifice-free solution to climate change. He says this is a consequence of elementary economics. After explaining the economic argument in somewhat more detail than Broome, I show that the argument is unsound. A main problem with it stems from Derek Parfit's ‘nonidentity effect.’ But there is hope, since the nonidentity effect underwrites a more philosophical yet more plausible route to a sacrifice-free solution. So in the end I join Broome in asking economists (...) and policymakers to help make this a reality. (shrink)
Prior research on the influence of various ways of framing anthropogenic climate change do not account for the organized ACC denial in the U.S. media and popular culture, and thus may overestimate these frames' influence in the general public. We conducted an experiment to examine how Americans' ACC views are influenced by four promising frames for urging action on ACC —when these frames appear with an ACC denial counter-frame. This is the first direct test of how exposure to an (...) ACC denial message influences Americans' ACC views. Overall, these four positive frames have little to no effect on ACC beliefs. But exposure to an ACC denial counter-frame does significantly reduce respondents' belief in the reality of ACC, belief about the veracity of climate science, awareness of the consequences of ACC, and support for aggressively attempting to reduce our nation's GHG emissions in the near future. Furthermore, as expected by the Anti-Reflexivity Thesis, exposure to the ACC denial counter-frame has a disproportionate influence on the ACC views of conservatives, effectively activating conservatives' underlying propensity for anti-reflexivity. (shrink)
In this paper, we address the problem of truth approximation through theory change, asking whether revising our theories by newly acquired data leads us closer to the truth about a given domain. More particularly, we focus on “nomic conjunctive theories”, i.e., theories expressed as conjunctions of logically independent statements concerning the physical or, more generally, nomic possibilities and impossibilities of the domain under inquiry. We define both a comparative and a quantitative notion of the verisimilitude of such theories, and (...) identify suitable conditions concerning the (partial) correctness of acquired data, under which revising our theories by data leads us closer to “the nomic truth”, construed as the target of scientific inquiry. We conclude by indicating some further developments, generalizations, and open issues arising from our results. (shrink)
Evidence from many different paradigms (e.g. change blindness, inattentional blindness, transsaccadic integration) indicate that observers are often very poor at reporting changes to their visual environment. Such evidence has been used to suggest that the spatio-temporal coherence needed to represent change can only occur in the presence of focused attention. In four experiments we use modified change blindness tasks to demonstrate (a) that sensitivity to change does occur in the absence of awareness, and (b) this sensitivity (...) does not rely on the redeploy- ment of attention. We discuss these results in relation to theories of scene percep- tion, and propose a reinterpretatio n of the role of attention in representing change. (shrink)
This article proposes a novel mapping of the complex relationship between business ethics and regulation, by suggesting five distinct ways in which business ethics and regulation may intersect. The framework is applied to a comparative case study of business responses to climate change regulation in Canada and Germany, both signatories to the Kyoto Protocol. Both countries represent distinctly different approaches which yield significant lessons for emerging economies. We also analyze the specific role of large multinational corporations in this process.
This paper discusses two distinct questions of distributive justice raised by climate change. Stated very roughly, one question concerns how much protection is owed to the potential victims of climate change (the Just Target Question), and the second concerns how the burdens (and benefits) involved in preventing dangerous climate change should be distributed (the Just Burden Question). In Section II, I focus on the first of these questions, the Just Target Question. The rest of the paper examines (...) the second question, the Just Burden Question. To answer this question, I argue, it is necessary to address two important methodological questions (one concerning the choice between what I term Integrationism and Isolationism and the other concerning the choice between what I term Holism and Atomism). Sections III-V, thus, set out and explore these two methodological issues. Having done so, the paper then turns from methodological issues to substantive analysis, and in Section VI it examines three principles of distributive justice that, it has been suggested, should determine how the burden of addressing dangerous climatic changes should be distributed (the Polluter Pays Principle, the Ability to Pay Principle and the Beneficiary Pays Principle). (shrink)
The relationship between knowledge, belief, and ethics is an inaugural theme in philosophy; more recently, under the title “ethics of belief” philosophers have worked to develop the appropriate methodology for studying the nexus of epistemology, ethics, and psychology. The title “ethics of belief” comes from a 19th-century paper written by British philosopher and mathematician W.K. Clifford. Clifford argues that we are morally responsible for our beliefs because each belief that we form creates the cognitive circumstances for related beliefs to follow, (...) and we inevitably influence each other through those beliefs. This study argues that recent cognitive research supports Cliffordian insights regarding patterns of belief formation and social influence. From the confirmation offered by such research, it follows that informational accuracy holds serious ethical significance in public discourse. Although scientific and epistemological matters are not always thought to be linked to normative morality, this study builds on Clifford's initial insights to show their linkage is fundamental to inquiry itself. In turn, Clifford's ethical and epistemic outline can inform a framework grounded in “public reason” under which seemingly opposed science communication strategies are philosophically united. With public discourse on climate change as the key example, empirically informed and grounded strategies for science communication in the public sphere are considered. (shrink)
Most studies on climate change response have examined reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet these studies do not take into account ecosystem services constraints and biophysical disruptions wrought by climate change that may require broader types of response. By studying a firm in the wine industry and using a research approach not constrained by structured methodologies or biased toward GHG emissions, the findings suggest that both “inside out” and “outside in” actions are taken in response to climate (...)change. While attempts are made by the firm to curtail and reverse climate change through management of carbon emissions, evidence suggests a clear pattern of actions designed to adjust to the adverse consequences of climate change as well. The results both confirm and extend previous findings and suggest that the level and breadth of response to climate change is shaped by situated attention, structural controls, and industry type. (shrink)
Several philosophers claim that the greenhouse gas emissions from actions like a Sunday drive are so miniscule that they will make no difference whatsoever with regard to anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and its expected harms. This paper argues that this claim of individual causal inefficacy is false. First, if AGCC is not reducible at least in part to ordinary actions, then the cause would have to be a metaphysically odd emergent entity. Second, a plausible (dis-)utility calculation reveals that (...) such actions have a not-insignificant amount of expected harm. One upshot is that the near-exclusive focus in the literature on AGCC as a collective action problem is too restricted. The paper also provides several moral psychological explanations of why it is so difficult to comprehend individual responsibility with regard to global phenomena, including a reappraisal of Thomas Nagel’s view of the absurd. (shrink)
I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.
The climate change mitigation effort is being translated into several actions and discourses that make collateral benefits and their rationale increasingly relevant for sustainability, in such a way that they are now a constant part of the political agenda. Taking a broader and consensual perspective, co-benefits are considered here to be emerging advantages of implementing measures to lower greenhouse gases. Starting with the analysis of policy documents referring to two European urban transportation strategies, the emergent co-benefits are problematized and (...) discussed to better understand their moral aspect. Further ethical reflection is conducted after an analysis of some unintended consequences of the co-benefits rationale arising from the examples. The discussion focuses primarily on the challenges of an integrative moral justification for co-benefits and also for their role in the climate change mitigation effort. We also discuss the limitations of the current normative models that frame a co-benefits rationale, both from a moral viewpoint and in relation to the overall climate change mitigation strategy. In this article, we propose the concepts of well-being and freedom, as portrayed by the Capability Approach, as possible guiding notions for the moral and social evaluation of goodness of these emergent benefits as well as their rationale. Additionally, some preliminary conclusions are drawn regarding the potential of the presented concepts to support climate change mitigation action. Finally, we outline a scenario where the Capability Approach is the moral guideline for a co-benefits rationale and illustrates its potential in terms of enhancing climate change mitigation strategy. (shrink)
Climate change adaptation is largely a local matter, and adaptation planning can benefit from local climate change projections. Such projections are typically generated by accepting climate model outputs in a relatively uncritical way. We argue, based on the IPCC’s treatment of model outputs from the CMIP5 ensemble, that this approach is unwarranted and that subjective expert judgment should play a central role in the provision of local climate change projections intended to support decision-making.
People often fail to detect large changes to scenes, provided that the changes occur during a visual disruption. This phenomenon, known as ''change blindness,'' occurs both in the laboratory and in real-world situations in which changes occur unexpectedly. The pervasiveness of the inability to detect changes is consistent with the theoretical notion that we internally represent relatively little information from our visual world from one glance at a scene to the next. However, evidence for change blindness does not (...) necessarily imply the absence of such a representation-people could also miss changes if they fail to compare an existing representation of the pre-change scene to the post-change scene. In three experiments, we show that people often do have a representation of some aspects of the pre-change scene even when they fail to report the change. And, in fact, they appear to ''discover'' this memory and can explicitly report details of a changed object in response to probing questions. The results of these real-world change detection studies are discussed in the context of broader claims about change blindness. (shrink)
The politics of climate change is marked by the fact that countries are dragging their heels in doing what they ought to do; namely, creating a binding global treaty, and fulfilling the duties assigned to each of them under it. Many different agents are culpable in this failure. But we can imagine a stylised version of the climate change case, in which no agents are culpable: if the bad effects of climate change were triggered only by crossing (...) a particular threshold, and it was reasonably, but mistakenly, believed by each country that insufficiently many other countries were willing to cooperate in order for that threshold to remain uncrossed, no country would be required to make a unilateral contribution. Yet even without culpability, we can diagnose a moral ill: the world has gone other than it should have. If not for the mistaken beliefs, there would have been a global climate treaty, and all the avoidance of future suffering that would come with it. In this article I argue that this moral ill has implications for the non-culpable agents, in that it generates duties to disgorge actual holdings over and above the counterpart holdings in the relevant counterfactual: those holdings the agents would have had, were the world to have gone as it should. (shrink)
The discussion presents a framework of concepts that is intended to account for the rationality of semantic change and variation, suggesting that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) reference, 2) inferential role, and 3) the epistemic goal pursued with the concept’s use. I argue that in the course of history a concept can change in any of these components, and that change in the concept’s inferential role and reference can be accounted for as (...) being rational relative to the third component, the concept’s epistemic goal. This framework is illustrated and defended by application to the history of the gene concept. It is explained how the molecular gene concept grew rationally out of the classical gene concept despite a change in reference, and why the use and reference of the contemporary molecular gene concept may legitimately vary from context to context. (shrink)
I examine the reasons Aristotle presents in Physics VIII 8 for denying a crucial assumption of Zeno’s dichotomy paradox: that every motion is composed of sub-motions. Aristotle claims that a unified motion is divisible into motions only in potentiality (δυνάμει). If it were actually divided at some point, the mobile would need to have arrived at and then have departed from this point, and that would require some interval of rest. Commentators have generally found Aristotle’s reasoning unconvincing. Against David Bostock (...) and Richard Sorabji, inter alia, I argue that Aristotle offers a plausible and internally consistent response to Zeno. I defend Aristotle’s reasoning by using his discussion of what to say about the mobile at boundary instants, transitions between change and rest. There Aristotle articulates what I call the Changes are Open, Rests are Closed Rule: what is true of something at a boundary instant is what is true of it over the time of its rest. By contrast, predications true of something over its period of change are not true of the thing at either of the boundary instants of that change. I argue that this rule issues from Aristotle’s general understanding of change, as laid out in Phys. III. It also fits well with Phys. VI, where Aristotle maintains that there is a first boundary instant included in the time of rest, but not a “first in which the mobile began to change.” I then show how this rule underlies Aristotle’s argument that a continuous motion cannot be composed of actual sub-motions. Aristotle distinguishes potential middles, points passed through en route to a terminus, from actual middles. The Changes are Open, Rests are Closed Rule only applies to actual middles, because only they are boundaries of change that the mobile must arrive at and then depart from. On my reading, Aristotle argues that the instant of arrival, the first instant at which the mobile has come to be at the actual middle, cannot belong to the time of the subsequent motion. If it did, the mobile would already be moving towards the next terminus and thus, per Phys. VI 6, would have already left. But it cannot have moved away from the midpoint at the very same moment it has arrived there. This means that the instant of arrival must be separated from the time of departure by an interval of rest. I show how Aristotle’s reasoning applies generally to rule out any continuous reflexive motion or continuous complex rectilinear motion. On my interpretation, however, the argument does not apply to every change of direction. When, as in the case of projectile motion, multiple movers and their relative powers explain why the mobile changes directions, distinct sub-motions are not involved. Aristotle holds that such motions cannot be continuous, not because they involve intervals of rest, but because they involve multiple causes of motion. My interpretation of the Changes are Open, Rests are Closed Rule allows us to make better sense of Aristotle’s argument than any previous interpretation. (shrink)
Ethical leadership matters in the context of organizational change due to the need for followers to trust the integrity of their leaders. Yet, there have been no studies investigating ethical leadership and organizational change. To fill this gap, we introduce a model of the moderating role of involvement in change. Organizational change and involvement in change are proposed as context-level moderators in the relationships of ethical leadership and work-related attitudes and performance. We employ a sample (...) of 199 supervisor–subordinate pairs from a wide variety of organizations. Results support a three-way interaction (ethical leadership, organizational change, and involvement in change) for performance and OCBs. Our results have important implications for organizational change since ethical leadership appears to complement follower involvement when change is happening. (shrink)
Jeffrey E. Brower presents and explains the hylomorphic conception of the material world developed by Thomas Aquinas, according to which material objects are composed of both matter and form. In addition to presenting and explaining Aquinas's views, Brower seeks wherever possible to bring them into dialogue with the best recent literature on related topics. Along the way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's views make to a host of contemporary metaphysical debates, including the nature of change, composition, material constitution, (...) the ontology of stuff vs. things, the proper analysis of ordinary objects, the truthmakers for essential vs. accidental predication, and the metaphysics of property possession. (shrink)
This book examines the threat that climate change poses to the projects of poverty eradication, sustainable development, and biodiversity preservation. It offers a careful discussion of the values that support these projects and a critical evaluation of the normative bases of climate change policy. This book regards climate change policy as a public problem that normative philosophy can shed light on. It assumes that the development of policy should be based on values regarding what is important to (...) respect, preserve, and protect. What sort of climate change policy do we owe the poor of the world who are particularly vulnerable to climate change? Why should our generation take on the burden of mitigating climate change that is caused, in no small part, by emissions from people now dead? What value is lost when natural species go extinct, as they may well do en masse because of climate change? This book presents a broad and inclusive discussion of climate change policy, relevant to those with interests in public policy, development studies, environmental studies, political theory, and moral and political philosophy. (shrink)
This article addresses the relationship between the ethics underpinning leadership and change. It examines the developments in leadership and change over the last three decades and their ethical implications. It adopts a consequentialist perspective on ethics and uses this to explore different approaches to leadership and change. In particular, the article focuses on individual (egoistic) consequentialism and utilitarian consequentialism. The article argues that all leadership styles and all approaches to change are rooted in a set of (...) values, some of which are more likely to lead to ethical outcomes than others. It also argues that all stakeholders in an organisation have a role to play in ensuring ethical outcomes. It concludes that in order to achieve sustainable and beneficial change, those who promote and adopt particular approaches to leadership and change must provide greater ethical clarity about the approaches they are championing. (shrink)
Two recurrent arguments levelled against the view that enduring objects survive change are examined within the framework of the B-theory of time: the argument from Leibniz's Law and the argument from Instantiation of Incompatible Properties. Both arguments are shown to be question-begging and hence unsuccessful.
In this paper I engage interdisciplinary conversation on inaction as the dominant response to climate change, and develop an analysis of the specific phenomenon of complacency through a critical-feminist lens. I suggest that Chris Cuomo's discussion of the “insufficiency” problem and Susan Sherwin's call for a “public ethics” jointly point toward particularly promising harm-reduction strategies. I draw upon and extend their work by arguing that extant philosophical accounts of complacency are inadequate to the task of sorting out what it (...) means to be complacent on climate change. I offer a sketch for an alternative account, which I take to be a start in the direction of mapping out a diverse array of “motivational vices” that need to be named, grappled with, and remedied. (shrink)
In the 1960s and 1970s, Hilary Putnam articulated a notion of relativized apriority that was motivated to address the problem of scientific change. This paper examines Putnam’s account in its historical context and in relation to contemporary views. I begin by locating Putnam’s analysis in the historical context of Quine’s rejection of apriority, presenting Putnam as a sympathetic commentator on Quine. Subsequently, I explicate Putnam’s positive account of apriority, focusing on his analysis of the history of physics and geometry. (...) In the remainder of the paper, I explore connections between Putnam’s account of relativized a priori principles and contemporary views. In particular, I situate Putnam’s account in relation to analyses advanced by Michael Friedman, David Stump, and William Wimsatt. From this comparison, I address issues concerning whether a priori scientific principles are appropriately characterized as “constitutive” or “entrenched”. I argue that these two features need to be clearly distinguished, and that only the constitutive function is essential to apriority. By way of conclusion, I explore the relationship between the constitutive function of a priori principles and entrenchment. (shrink)