Climate Change and the Motivational Gap

In Pellegrino Gianfranco & Marcello Di Paola (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Climate Change. Springer Nature. pp. 699-720 (2023)
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Abstract

The chapter proposes first a definition of motivation and its intrinsic challenges, e.g., the expression and maintenance of motivation in a consistent form. Specific attention is devoted to the main obstacles toward the establishment of an intergenerational climate-change-sensitive motivation. The chapter explores then what could be considered the most relevant conceptual contraposition with respect to the adoption of climate-change-sensitive behaviors, both from an individual and institutional perspective: the dialectic between indifference and solidarity. We will examine how these concepts lead to different motivational perspectives that, in turn, ground and direct diametrically opposed behaviors. Subsequently, we will explore the main implications of these motivational perspectives, in terms of moral and institutional effects and within an intergenerational framework. Finally, the chapter proposes a normative path for overcoming the motivational gap that the simple contraposition between indifference and solidarity could do nothing but perpetuate.

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