The Implications of Psychological Limitations for the Ethics of Climate Change

Environmental Values 25 (3):353-370 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Most philosophers and psychologists who have explored the psychology of climate change have focused only on motivational issues—getting people to act on what morality requires of them. This is misleading, however, because there are other psychological processes directed not at motivation but rather our ability to grasp the implications of climate change in a general way—what Stephen Gardiner has called the ‘grasping problem’. Taking the grasping problem as my departure point, I draw two conclusions from the relevant psychological literature: 1) ethicists and policy makers should focus less on changing individuals’ behaviors and more on changing policy; and 2) even though solutions to climate change must come at the level of policy, progress on this front will be limited by incompatible moral norms.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,377

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Human Engineering and Climate Change.S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg & Rebecca Roache - 2012 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (2):206 - 221.
How Not to Save the Planet.Thom Brooks - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):119-135.
Cosmopolitan Climates.Mike Hulme - 2010 - Theory, Culture and Society 27 (2-3):267-276.
Global Justice and Global Climate Change.Duane Windsor - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:23-34.
Climate Change and Ethics.Tim Hayward - 2012 - Nature Climate Change 2:843–848.
Climate change and the duties of the advantaged.Simon Caney - 2010 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 13 (1):203-228.
Are We Morally Obligated to Assist Climate Change Migrants?Katrina M. Wyman - 2013 - Law and Ethics of Human Rights 7 (2):185-212.
Watsuji Tetsuro, Fudo, and climate change.Bruce B. Janz - 2011 - Journal of Global Ethics 7 (2):173 - 184.
Contractualism and Climate Change.Jussi Suikkanen - 2014 - In Marcello Di Paola & Gianfranco Pellegrino (eds.), Canned Heat: Ethics and Politics of Climate Change. Routledge. pp. 115-128.
Managing Climate Change: A View from Deep Ecology.Patrik Baard - 2015 - Ethics and the Environment 20 (1):23-44.


Added to PP

23 (#558,991)

6 months
1 (#866,649)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

T. J. Kasperbauer
Indiana University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references