Call for Abstracts: Buffalo Workshop on Ethics and Adaptation

Posted: 12 de October de 2011 by Fernando Furtado in Call for Papers, Event

Call for Abstracts: Buffalo Workshop on Ethics and Adaptation

Buffalo Workshop on Ethics and Adaptation: environmental ethics and
policy when the future does not resemble the past

An event to be held 10-11 March 2012 at the University at Buffalo.

In light of the changes we can expect to see as a result of climate
change, there is a need, recognizable in recent work in policy, law,
and ethics, to reconsider both the ethical norms relevant to our
changing world and the forms of justification provided for those
norms. The Buffalo workshop on Ethics and Adaptation will provide a
venue for beginning to address this need. This workshop will bring
together philosophers, policy scholars, and others working on issues
related to ethics, adaptation, and sustainability in light of a
rapidly changing environment.

That we now face a new set of theoretical and practical challenges in
ethics, policy, and law is clear. While historically, political change
and increased scientific understanding led to significant
transformation of our ethical viewpoints, these changes took place
within the fairly stable Holocene epoch. If, as many argue, we are now
in a less stable, human generated era, the “anthropocene” epoch as
some have called it, we have no precedent for understanding how to
modify our practical and evaluative standards. What sort of ethical
adaptation should we, or must we, make in an anthropocene epoch? How
should this lack of precedent influence our ethical norms and values
as we adapt to our changing world? While answers to these questions
will surely involve profound changes in our current policy, they may
also involve the nature of our moral concepts, the purported
universality or objectivity of ethical claims, the structure of
practical and political reasoning, or the very idea of flourishing and
the good.

Confirmed Workshop Attendees Include:

•    Paul Baer (Co-Founder of Ecoequity and Georgia Tech, Public Policy)
•    Jeremy Bendik-Keymer (Case Western Reserve University, Beamer-
Schneider Professor in Ethics)
•    J. Baird Callicott (University of North Texas, Philosophy)
•    Ben Hale (Colorado, Philosophy and Environmental Studies)
•    Andrew Light (Center for American Progress and George Mason
University, Philosophy and Public Policy)
•    Allen Thompson (Oregon State University, Philosophy and
Environmental Humanities)

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

•    Capabilities, flourishing, and virtues in a time of climate change
•    Disaster Ethics
•    Whether or not the need for adaptation should have an influence on
our ethical, political, or legal norms
•    Ethical considerations appropriate to policy in times of great
•    Ethical issues surrounding particular features of adaptation (e.g.,
does the need to adapt to a changing world influence the duty to
provide aid to the distant needy?)
•    Ethical issues surrounding particular political practices (e.g.,
does the need to adapt to a changing world change the legitimacy of
international political institutions?)
•    A framework for balancing the needs of human and non-human interests
in addressing climate change and extreme weather.
•    The influence of epistemological or decision-theoretical
considerations on ethical norms or policy matters in times of great

Submission Procedure, Workshop Format, and Other Particulars:

500 word abstracts or preliminary proposals should be submitted by 1
November 2011 to Kenneth Shockley (kes25 at buffalo dot edu).

For those proposals selected, short (1500-2500 word) work-in-progress
papers will be due by 15 January 2012. We will discuss these
circulated drafts in light of the best available analysis of the world
to which we might be adapting. Each workshop participant will have 15
minutes to present or expand upon the work previous circulated. This
will be followed by 30 minutes of open discussion. There will be ample
time for open discussion and coordinating future projects and common

Accommodation will be provided for workshop participants. There will
be opportunities to publish the results of this workshop; Ethics,
Policy, and Environment has expressed an interest.

The timing of this workshop has been chosen to follow immediately upon
an earlier workshop, organized by the Anthropologist Ezra Zubrow,
titled, “The Big Thaw: Policy, Governance, and Climate Change in the
Circumpolar North”.  “The Big Thaw” is scheduled to run from the 8th
to 9th of March. Participants will have the opportunity to participate
in this workshop as well.

Any questions should be addressed to Kenneth Shockley at kes25 at
buffalo dot edu.


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