851-0049-00L  John Broome’s “Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World”

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersF. Altner
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


851-0049-00 SJohn Broome’s “Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World”2 hrs
Tue18:15-20:00IFW C 33 »
F. Altner

Catalogue data

AbstractIn this course, students will be introduced to key ethical issues and solutions that arise in the context of anthropocentric climate change through careful study of John Broome’s book “Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World” as well as alternative proposals.
ObjectiveThe aim of this course is to allow students to think clearly and systematically about the ethical issues and issues of justice that arise in the context of climate change. Furthermore, they should be able to reflect their own ethical role and contributions with respect to climate change, as well as think critical about various major policy proposals.
ContentMan-made climate change confronts us with a difficult, ethical problem. Our use of fossil fuels and the resulting warming of the climate increases the likelihood of extreme climate events, such as droughts and floods, often threatening the livelihoods of people in the poorest countries that are not among the major emitters. What distinguishes climate change from other externalities of our actions is that most of the consequences, such as rising sea levels, will be borne by future generations. John Broome's book "Climate Matters: Ethics in a warming world" is one of the clearest ethical analyses of this problem. In it, he explores the ethical implications of our individual contributions to global warming, questions of justice, and the responsibilities that states, corporations, and other collective actors bear, using well-known ethical thought experiments such as Derek Parfit's "non-identity" problem and Judith Jarvis Thomson's violinist. His proposals, which combine utilitarian theories with economic models, such as a market for carbon credits and carbon off-setting, will form the starting point in the seminar for reflecting on and critically considering one's own ethical role, as well as the ethical foundations of public policies. Alternative solutions, such as collective actions that require greater ethical sacrifices, will also be discussed in the course.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersF. Altner
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

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Places30 at the most
Waiting listuntil 07.10.2023

Offered in

Science in PerspectiveEconomicsWInformation
Science in PerspectivePhilosophyWInformation