Moral Theory and Climate Change
Ethical Perspectives on a Warming Planet
Climate change has become the most pressing moral and political problem of our time. Ethical theories help us think clearly and more fully about important moral and political issues. And yet, to date, there have been no books that have brought together a broad range of ethical theories to apply them systematically to the problems of climate change. This volume fills that deep need. Two preliminary chapters—an up-to-date synopsis of climate science and an overview of the ethical issues raised by climate change—set the stage. After this, ten leading ethicists in ten separate chapters each present a major ethical theory (or, more broadly, perspective) and discuss the implications of that view for how we decide to respond to a rapidly warming planet. Each chapter first provides a brief exposition of the view before working out what that theory “has to say” about climate change and our response to the problems it poses.
• Up-to-date synopsis of climate science
• Clear overviews of a wide range of ethical theories and perspectives by leading experts
• Insightful discussions of the implications of these theories and perspectives for our response to climate change
• A unique opportunity to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of various ethical viewpoints.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Dale E. Miller
2. Modern Climate Change: A Symptom of a Single-Species High-Energy Pulse Hans-Peter Plag
3. Ethical Challenges Posed by Climate Change: An Overview Madison Powers
4. Procreation, Carbon Tax, and Poverty: An Act-Consequentialist Climate-Change Agenda Ben Eggleston
5. The Rule-Consequentialist Response to Climate Change Dale E. Miller
6. Kant and Climate Change: A Territorial Rights Approach Alice Pinheiro Walla
7. Contractualism and Climate Change Paul Clements
8. Contractarianism and Climate Change Michael Moehler
9. Natural Law Theory and Climate Change Colleen McCluskey
10. Virtue Ethics and Climate Change Sophie Grace Chappell
11. From Caring to Counter-Consumption: Feminist Moral Perspectives on Consumerism and Climate Change Regina Cochrane
12. Pragmatist Ethics and Climate Change Steven Fesmire
13. Phenomenology and the Ethics of Difference: Levinas, Responsibility, and Climate Change William Edelglass
Dale E. Miller is a Professor of Philosophy at Old Dominion University and the editor-in-chief of Utilitas . He is the author of J. S. Mill: Moral, Social and Political Thought (2010) and he is a co-editor of Rules, Morality, and Consequences (2000); John Stuart Mill and the Art of Life (2011); The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism (2014); and A Companion to Mill (2017).
Ben Eggleston is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas. He is the editor of Utilitarianism: With Related Remarks from Mill’s Other Writings, by John Stuart Mill (2017), and a co-editor of John Stuart Mill and the Art of Life (2011) and The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism (2014). His research interests include normative ethics, rational choice theory, and philosophy of law.