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CEPPA Talk (in person) – Simon Hope (Stirling)
September 21, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Edgecliffe G03
Title: Climate Change as a Philosophical Problem
Commentator: Quân Nguyen (Edinburgh)
The paper this talk belongs to speaks to two main points. One is that the onrushing climate catastrophe renders the modern liberal value of personal autonomy unintelligible as a concept to live by. Originally, that was the only point I planned to argue for: I would then conclude that because Kant never once predicates autonomy of individuals, selves, or persons, Kant’s practical philosophy is immune to this difficulty and offers a better approach to climate ethics and justice. But – here is the second point – it then struck me how this conclusion only follows if you already accept Kant’s practical philosophy. If instead you think it mere empty formalism, well, rising sea levels won’t make it less so. This got me trying to think about how normative disorientation arising from the unintelligibility of ethical concepts can trap us in a particularly dire reflective predicament. I’ll try to outline this predicament, and say something about how we might get out of it.