Groningen, Netherlands

Climate Change and the Long-Term Future

online course
when 31 January 2022 - 1 February 2022
language English
duration 1 week

After several successful installments, the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen will host its yearly Winter School, aimed primarily at advanced undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students. The theme of the Winter School this year is Climate Change and the Long-Term Future. It will consist of 6 lecture tutorials where topics related to the theme will be discussed from different disciplinary viewpoints: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). Unlike previous winter schools, this year’s winter school will be held online because of ongoing epidemiological uncertainties.

Climate change is among the biggest challenges humanity faces today. How should individuals, societies, and humanity at large respond to climate change and other long-term challenges? Far from being a question for the natural sciences alone, a good answer also requires a ‘PPE perspective’, that is, a perspective that combines philosophy, politics, and economics. In this winter school, different researchers will take a PPE perspective in exploring climate change and our ethical and political obligations towards future people. The challenge is typically seen as a collective action problem. From this perspective, it calls for an institutional solution that facilitates widespread cooperation among individuals and countries. And it brings up empirical questions, such as what explains people’s attitudes and actions towards the environment and future generations and how can those be improved? But it also has an important epistemic dimension. For example, what is a rational response to scientific disagreement and to the risk and uncertainty involved in climate predictions? Finally, the winter school also tackles fundamental normative questions, such as: What are our moral obligations to future people? Do they extend to all future people and, if so, does this imply that our longtermist moral duties trump any short-term concerns?

Course leader

Jisca van Strien

Target group

The winter school is aimed at advanced undergraduate students and early-stage graduate students. It also offers students interested in studying the PPE Master in Groningen an insight into the kinds of teaching and research done at the PPE Centre.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language in order for them to participate actively in the discussions.

Course aim

Exploring climate change and our ethical and political obligations towards future people from a PPE perspective (philosophy, politics and economics)

Fee info

EUR 0: Free participation for all

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