CALL FOR PAPERS – Climate Change, Sustainability and an Ethics of an Open Future; Netherlands

kderkClimate Change, Sustainability and an Ethics of an Open Future
Societas Ethica Annual Conference
August 22‐25, 2013
Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg, Netherlands

Call for Papers

This will be the 50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference. It is realized in cooperation with the ESF Network “Rights to a Green Future” and the Ethics Institute in Utrecht. Climate change, dwindling resources, and growth of the global population have emerged as challenges for all areas of political action in modern societies. These challenges have been on the political agenda since the “Limits to Growth” report was released in 1972.
While the challenges are well known, and while there appears to be some form of consensus that sustainability is a goal worth striving for, there is little discussion of how the changes necessary to achieve this goal will affect our political institutions, our social relationships, our moral responsibilities, and our self‐understanding in general. The more far‐reaching the necessary changes are, the more pressing the following questions will become: To what extent are political and economic institutions – national as well as global ‐ capable of realizing sustainable politics and what is its ethical basis? To what extent will personal liberties, such as freedom of movement, property rights, and reproductive autonomy, need to be limited in order to realize sustainable politics? How could we extend the current system of human rights to incorporate the rights of future generations? Can we expect human beings to take responsibility for the living conditions of future generations, and how do such responsibilities affect philosophical and eschatological theories? An ethics of an open future must develop criteria for moral action under conditions of uncertainty. A developed theory of the principle of precaution in ethics and law is, however, lacking.

Confirmed speakers

  • Docent Jeroen van de Sluis (GeoSciences, Utrecht): Scientific Scenarios for the Development of Climate Change
  • Professor Stephen Gardiner (Cornell University): Title pending
  • Professor Michael Northcott (Edinburgh University): Climate Change as a Moral Challenge
  • Professor Hille Haker (Loyola University Chicago): Energy and Ethics
  • Professor Marcus Düwell (Utrecht University): Rights to a Green Future

Paper channels

1. Climate change and scarcity of resources as ethical challenges
2. Sustainability, future generations and human rights
3. Democracy, global governance and political ethics
4. An open future; philosophical and theological responses
5. Reflections from different cultural and religious perspectives
6. Open channel

Authors are invited to submit an abstract accompanied by a bibliography of max. 10 references. The maximum length of the abstract is 4,000 characters excluding bibliography. Abstracts should be suitable for blind review. We do not accept full papers.

Please send in the following two documents as Word attachments to

Document 1: Your name, first name, email address, institutional address, the title of your abstract, the topic under which your abstract falls, and, if eligible, your application to participate in the Young Scholars’ Award competition (see information below).

Document 2: Your abstract including bibliography and title with all identifying references removed.

Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2013.

Call for papers: