Contractualism and climate change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change is ‘a complex problem raising issues across and between a large number of disciplines, including physical and life sciences, political science, economics, and psychology, to name just a few’ (Gardiner 2006: 397). It is also a moral problem. Therefore, in this chapter, I will consider what kind of a contribution an ethical theory called ‘contractualism’ can make to the climate change debates. This chapter first introduces contractualism. It then describes a simple climate change scenario. The third section explains what kind of moral obligations we would have in that situation according to contractualism. Finally, the last section discusses some of the advantages and problems of the sketched view. These discussions should help us to better understand contractualism and illustrate how contractualism could perhaps enable us to come to grips with some of the more difficult moral aspects of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCanned heat
Subtitle of host publicationethics and politics of climate change
EditorsMarcello Di Paola, Gianfranco Pellegrino
Place of PublicationNew Delhi, India
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)1138020273, 9781138020276
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2014


  • Climate Change
  • Contractualism


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