Climate Change, Justice, and Beneficence
In this seminar we discuss justice and beneficence near and far, as formulated in views of how benefits and burdens should be distributed within the borders of a just society, and as further brought to bear concerning sharing and stewardship to benefit and prevent harm to peoples and generations distant from us in space and time. Topics have included justice as fairness and the libertarian view of distributive justice, moral demands placed upon us by poverty, famine, and disease in distant lands, conceptions of global justice, and duties to abate anthropogenic climate change and to mitigate its effects on the health of earth’s future inhabitants. In its current iteration, the seminar will focus on the ethics of climate change. Readings of recent works in moral philosophy will draw students into the challenge of formulating individual and collective moral obligations to act and to forbear so as to preserve for humanity its only home.