Justice and Climate Change: New Challenges and New Theories

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Climate change represents a unique challenge to both our theories and our institutions, but public debates about climate change often suffer from an impoverished understanding of the values at stake. What can philosophical theorizing about justice contribute to our understanding of climate change and how to respond to it? What are the concrete implications of considering a richer set of values? How can political philosophers and political theorists contribute to an interdisciplinary and public conversation about climate change that is informed by a more robust understanding of justice in its various guises? This event brings together a panel of scholars to discuss these questions. 


John Nolt is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee.  His research is centered on philosophical logic and environmental and intergenerational ethics, areas in which he has published seven books—most recently Environmental Ethics for the Long Term: An Introduction (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2015).  A long-time environmental activist, he has for the past decade chaired UT’s Committee on the Campus Environment, which advises the administration on environmental matters.  He was President of the UT Faculty Senate in 2008-9, and President of the statewide Tennessee University Faculty Senates in 2009-10.   Much of his recent work is on climate and energy ethics, including “How Harmful Are the Average American’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions?” in the journal Ethics, Policy and Environment as well articles in Climactic Change and Philosophy and Public Issues.

Ludvig Beckman is Professor at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University (Sweden). His recent books include The Territories of Citizenship (2012) (edited with Eva Erman) and The Frontiers of Democracy: The Right to Vote and its Limits (2009). He has published widely on democratic theory, intergenerational justice, integration and migration, children’s rights, privacy and genetics. He is currently the vice head of Department.

Corey Katz is a Graduate Candidate at Saint Louis University. His dissertation project works out the way that a contractualist understanding of the human rights of future people can face the non-existence and non-identity problems. His research interests include social and political philosophy and environmental ethics.