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Ethics Getting Involved in the Climate Crisis : On Stephen Gardiner’s Ethics of the Climate Transitions

Show simple item record 2021-12-15T10:51:07Z 2021-12-15T10:51:07Z 2021-12-15
dc.title Ethics Getting Involved in the Climate Crisis : On Stephen Gardiner’s Ethics of the Climate Transitions en
ethesis.faculty Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta fi
ethesis.faculty Faculty of Social Sciences en
ethesis.faculty Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten sv
ethesis.faculty.URI Helsingin yliopisto fi University of Helsinki en Helsingfors universitet sv
dct.creator Snellman, Otto
dct.issued 2021 und
dct.abstract Why those that are most responsible and capable in the climate crisis are not doing nearly enough? Stephen Gardiner argues that in addition to diagnosing the failures of ethical agency amid the crisis, climate ethicists should face them head-on. He outlines “ethics of the climate transitions” or, shortly, transition ethics. It aims to help in building ethical motivation for the institutional overhaul needed to limit the heating to 1,5°C. The work addresses transition ethics and the ambitious ideas on ethical action-guidance put forward in it. It is argued that transition ethics should be understood as concessive theory in David Estlund’s sense. It weighs moral correctness of principles and motivations with their practicability. In concessive transition ethics, the empirically informed diagnosis of the climate crisis and the advocated ethical prescriptions should be in constant interaction. Transition ethics should remain flexible about degrees and areas of concession. It should also stay properly modest: its prescriptions are not the ultimate expression of climate justice, but something to work on in the uncertain and complex circumstances of the climate crisis. Transition ethics is put to test by noting that climate ethicists are not insulated from the various problems of ethical agency that the climate crisis breeds. Appropriating Gardiner’s ideas and political realism, it is argued that transition ethicists are threatened by theoretical vices. These are rooted in the indeterminate approach of weighing practicability and moral constraints. By reviewing recent contributions in climate change communication and social and moral psychology, it is showed that Gardiner’s “moral corruption” diagnosis and “defensive ethics” may be subject to the theoretical vice of wishful thinking. Yet if transition ethicists guard against wishful thinking too eagerly, another theoretical vice called strategic inconsiderateness awaits them. The more specific root of the twin vices is located in the role of prescriptions in transition ethics. They may either overtly condition the diagnosis or be reduced to mere strategic communication. To get some clarity on the proper role of ethical prescriptions, the issue is further discussed in a context crucial for transition ethics, i.e., political legitimacy. It is argued that Gardiner’s argument called the global test is a condition of political legitimacy amid the climate crisis. The test shows why the prevailing but failing institutions should be rejected. Yet it is argued that the normative grounds of the global test and its status as a concessive and action-guiding prescription are ambiguous. Therefore, two alternative interpretations of the test are outlined, one based on political realism and other on Allen Buchanan’s theory of political legitimacy. It is concluded that the Buchanian approach is more apt as a benchmark of transitional prescriptions. It informs flexibility of concession and shows some limits to modesty and political realist suspicion. The conclusion is that relatively non-concessive ethical prescriptions may be an antidote against the theoretical vices amid the fog of confusion of the climate crisis. Ethical integrity may also help transition ethicists to be relevant for the global climate movement ushering the ethical climate transitions. en
dct.subject climate change
dct.subject climate crisis
dct.subject action-guidance
dct.subject practical ethics
dct.subject virtue ethics
dct.subject political realism
ethesis.language englanti fi
ethesis.language English en
ethesis.language engelska sv
ethesis.supervisor Kyllönen, Simo
ethesis.thesistype pro gradu -tutkielmat fi
ethesis.thesistype master's thesis en
ethesis.thesistype pro gradu-avhandlingar sv
dct.identifier.ethesis E-thesisID:d67b9bc6-4171-4b6b-9fe4-a86b691c08c1
dct.subject.YSOFI ilmastonsuojelu und
dct.subject.YSOFI etiikka und
dct.subject.YSOFI yhteiskuntafilosofia und
ethesis-internal.timestamp.reviewStep 2021-11-11 17:30:57:522
dct.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202112154336
ethesis.facultystudyline Käytännöllinen filosofia fi
ethesis.facultystudyline Practical Philosophy en
ethesis.facultystudyline Praktisk filosofi sv
ethesis.mastersdegreeprogram Filosofian maisteriohjelma fi
ethesis.mastersdegreeprogram Master's Programme in Philosophy en
ethesis.mastersdegreeprogram Magisterprogrammet i filosofi sv

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