Todd Dufresne explores the relationship between climate change and COVID-19 in a new interview series. The series follows-up on Dufresne’s recent book, The Democracy of Suffering: Life on the Edge of Catastrophe, Philosophy in the Anthropocene (MQUP 2019).
The new ISEE Mentoring Initiative is moving forward, and this year we’ve focused on supporting environmental philosophy teaching. We are in the process of updating teaching resources on the ISEE website with new syllabi, assignments, and activities (thanks to all who contributed!), and the updated site is expected to go live by early May. We also organized a workshop on engaged and inclusive pedagogies in environmental philosophy for the 2020 Pacific APA (cancelled due to the pandemic), which we hope to reschedule either in-person or virtually during the 2020-21 academic year.
Simona Capisani (UC-Irvine) is directing the Mentoring Initiative along with ISEE Vice President Marion Hourdequin, and we have a wonderful group of participants who are helping contribute to and shape our projects going forward. ISEE members who would like to get involved are encouraged to email Marion Hourdequin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to keep an eye out for announcements of upcoming virtual mentoring committee meetings on the ISEE listserv. We expect to hold our next meeting in May or June. Stay tuned!
Teaching Environmental Philosophy: Engaged and Inclusive Pedagogies
Simona Capisani, University of California-Irvine and Marion Hourdequin, Colorado College
This workshop aims to provide both new and experienced faculty the opportunity to explore engaged and inclusive teaching approaches and pedagogies in environmental philosophy. The workshop will provide resources for teaching stand-alone classes focused on environmental ethics, environmental philosophy, and environmental justice, as well as ideas for integrating environmental dimensions into existing courses such as political philosophy, philosophy of science, aesthetics, and epistemology. In the first hour of the workshop, panelists will share ideas for inclusive teaching, community-engaged learning, and student-centered pedagogies in environmental philosophy, followed by a moderated discussion/Q&A. The second hour of the workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss course syllabi and share ideas for environmental philosophy teaching in multiple contexts, including environmental ethics and environmental justice courses, as well as environmentally-related units in other philosophy classes. Participants are encouraged to bring complete or draft syllabi to share, and to contribute ideas as part of a collaborative conversation.
The following speakers are confirmed as panelists:
Chris Cuomo, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies, University of Georgia
Rebeka Fereirra, Tenured Instructor, Green River College
Benjamin Hole, Visiting Assistant Professor, Pacific University
Clair Morrissey, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Occidental College
The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) is pleased to announce publicly the winner and finalists for the Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy. ISEE established the award to promote work in public philosophy and honor contributions to the field by Dr. Andrew Light, who was recognized for his distinctive work in public environmental philosophy at ISEE’s 2017 annual summer meeting.
With this award, ISEE strives to recognize public philosophers working in environmental ethics and philosophy, broadly construed, and who bring unique insights or methods that broaden the reach, interaction, and engagement of philosophy with the wider public. This may be exemplified in published work or engagement in environmental issues of public importance.
This year’s honorees have made important contributions and provide distinctive examples of the work in public environmental philosophy that is happening today.
This year’s winner is Professor Paul Thompson of Michigan State University. Professor Thompson’s work in public philosophy spans multiple decades, and he has made distinctive contributions to agricultural and environmental ethics over the course of his career. He began working collaboratively with farmers in the 1980s to develop industry reforms that benefited both animals and the environment. Throughout his career, Professor Thompson’s research has informed and been informed by cross-disciplinary collaborations and community engagement. He is the author of numerous books, including books aimed for broad audiences, such as From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). Professor Thompson has served on National Resource Council committees and with the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Ethics and Society, and he’s played a key role in developing ethical food standards such as American Humane Certified. In addition, he has helped to build the field of public philosophy and has mentored others developing careers in this field. As two of his colleagues wrote in their nomination letter, “Many environmental philosophers have come to value public engagement by observing how Paul Thompson incorporated insights from his public work into his more traditionally philosophical articles and books, and we have come to better understand how to become publicly engaged ourselves through his mentoring. Paul, we believe, is an exemplary public environmental philosopher who has made significant contributions at various levels and with various groups, from policymakers, researchers and academic colleagues, to farmers, consumers and environmentalists.”
This year’s finalists are Associate Professor Adam Briggle of University of North Texas, Professor Christopher Preston of University of Montana, and Dr. Gwynne Taraska, Climate Program Director at Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C.
Adam Briggle, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at University of North Texas, describes himself as a “field philosopher.” In his book, A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking, he argues that “the role of a field philosopher is to excavate and examine the ethical, aesthetic, and even metaphysical presumptions that are inevitably packed into the black box of expert discourse and political messaging.” Briggle has centered his career around publicly engaged philosophy. In addition to his academic writing, he has published work in Slate, Salon, and The New York Times, and he is highly active in his community. His work as founder and President of the Denton Drilling Advisory Group led to a successful campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, Texas. Professor Briggle also serves on the Governing Board for the Public Philosophy Network, and is a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council.
Christopher Preston, Professor of Philosophy at University of Montana made a distinctive contribution to public philosophy with his recently published a book, The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World (MIT Press, 2018). The book, which won a 2019 Nautilus award, aims to spark discussion about the technologies that are reshaping human relations with the broader world. Preston also runs a related blog – The Plastocene – that aims to generate broader public dialogue about “the big decisions about how to approach a world that has already been impacted so greatly,” because “[d]ecisions about the world we want to create belong to everyone.” Professor Preston’s public philosophical work has included writing for the BBC, Aeon, The Conversation, and the Center for Humans and Nature, and he has been featured in interviews for numerous news sources, including the BBC, LA Times, and The Guardian.
Gwynne Taraska earned her PhD in philosophy at University of Washington, and shortly thereafter, began to apply her philosophical acumen in the policy arena. She is currently Climate Program Director at Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. Dr. Taraska previously served as Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisers, and as Director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress. She has worked on a wide range of issues, including climate diplomacy, international climate finance, international ocean diplomacy, the Paris Agreement, and climate loss and damage. Her work and expertise have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Hill, Vox, and Energy & Environment. As one colleague noted: “Gwynne clearly represents the kind of pioneer that we need in public philosophy: someone who has used core philosophical skills to break new ground in the policy community.”
ISEE will be hosting 2 affiliated group sessions at the 2020 Central Division Meeting of the APA:
Friday, February 28 7:00pm – 10:00pm
William Littlefield (Case Western Reserve University) – “Utility Gains in Climate Justice”
Marcus Hedahl (US Naval Academy) – “Climate Justice & Moral Psychology: Surprising Stoic Solutions”
Kizito Michael George (Kyambogo University) – “Linking Climate Change to Human Rights and Social Justice: A Critique of the Ethics and Epistemologies of Climate Change Science”
Rachel Fredericks (Ball State University) – “Climate Legacy: A New(ish) Concept for the Climate Crisis”
Saturday, February 29 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Chair: Megs Gendreau (Centre College)
Connor Kianpour (Georgia State University) – “Dolphin Ownerhood: Nonhuman Persons and Habitative Noninterference”
Sade Hormio (UC Berkeley) – “Climate Change and Responsibility as Members of Collective Agents”
Justin Donhauser (Bowling Green State University) – “Robot Pollinator Ethics”
Zachary Vereb (University of South Florida) – “A Kantian Perspective on Climate Ethics: History and Global Community”
The 2020 Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association will be April 8th to 11th at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA.
ISEE will be hosting two affiliated group sessions.
Session 1: Wednesday April 8th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Teaching Environmental Philosophy: Engaged and Inclusive Pedagogies
|Chairs:||Simona Capisani (University of California, Irvine)|
|Marion Hourdenquin (Colorado College)|
|Panelists:||Chris Cuomo (University of Georgia)|
|Rebeka Ferreira (Green River College)|
|Benjamin Hole (Pacific University)|
|Clair Morrissey (Occidental College)|
Session 2: Saturday April 11th from 6:00 to 8:00
Environmental Ethics: Ethics for a Changing World
Arthur Obst (University of Washington) – “Demandingness from Despair”
Daniel Callies (University of California, San Diego) and Yasha Rohwer (Oregon Institute of Technology) – “Intentionally Eradicating a Species: Examining the Case against and the Value of Anopheles Gambiae”
Blake Francis (University of Maryland Baltimore County) – “Middle Emissions: Climate Ethics and the Global Middle Class”
Workshop on Sustainability in Philosophy
Friday, January 10, 2020, 9-11 am
This session will open with a special announcement of this year’s finalists and winner of ISEE’s Andrew Light Award in Public Philosophy. Professor Light will present the award.
Following the award presentation, the workshop will be led by co-founders of Philosophers for Sustainability (PfS), Eugene Chislenko of Temple University and Rebecca Millsop of University of Rhode Island. Professors Millsop and Chislenko will describe several recent initiatives of Philosophers for Sustainability and lead a discussion of effective ways to integrate sustainability into teaching, research, and service. The workshop will include discussion of a proposed set of Guidelines for Sustainable Practices in Philosophy, developed by PfS and under consideration by the APA for inclusion in its Good Practices Guide.
Environmental Ethics in Social Context:
Robots, Gene Drives, and Water Management
Saturday, January 11, 2020, 11:15 am-1:15 pm
Chair: Marion Hourdequin
Justin Donhauser (Bowling Green University) “Environmental Robot Virtues?”
Zahra Meghani (University of Rhode Island), “An Approach for Evaluating Arguments for the Environmental Release of Genetically Engineered Animals with Gene Drives”
Gehad Abdelal (University of Georgia) “Water Ethics: The Problem of Uncertainty and Colonial Implication on the Nile River Conflict”