Climate Change and Moral Philosophy
Drawing on the author’s 2011 book Ethics for a Broken World, this chapter asks whether Rawlsian political liberalism could adapt to a broken world where resources are insufficient to meet everyone’s basic needs and our affluent way of life is no longer an option. This credible future lacks three presumptions of recent moral and political thought: future people are worse-off than present people; the interests of different generations conflict sharply; and Rawlsian favourable conditions have been lost. The chapter explores the moral impact of these differences through a lecture from an imaginary philosopher in the broken future who seeks to adapt Rawls to her world.
KeywordsBroken world Climate change Favourable conditions Future people Inter-generational justice Rawls
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