A Pragmatist Orientation for the Social Sciences in Climate Policy

How to Make Integrated Economic Assessments Serve Society

  • Martin Kowarsch

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 323)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Martin Kowarsch
    Pages 1-15
  3. The Key Challenge of Integrated Economic Advice for Climate Policy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Martin Kowarsch
      Pages 47-77
  4. A Philosophical Evaluation of Normative Science-Policy Models

  5. A Critical Look at the IPCC’s Economics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Martin Kowarsch
      Pages 197-227
    3. Martin Kowarsch
      Pages 249-272
  6. Towards Improved Integrated Economic Assessments for Climate Policy

About this book


While economic and other social science expertise is indispensable for successful public policy-making regarding global climate change, social scientists face trade-offs between the scientific credibility, policy-relevance, and legitimacy of their policy advice. From a philosophical perspective, this book systematically addresses these trade-offs and other crucial challenges facing the integrated economic assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Based on John Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy and an analysis of the value-laden nature and reliability of climate change economics, the book develops a refined science-policy model and specific guidelines for these assessments of climate policy options. The core idea is to scientifically explore the various practical implications of alternative climate policy pathways in an interdisciplinary manner, together with diverse stakeholders. This could facilitate an iterative, deliberative public learning process concerning disputed policy issues. This volume makes novel contributions to three strands of the literature: (1) the philosophy of (social) science in policy; (2) the philosophy of economics; and (3) debates about the design of scientific assessments, including the continuous IPCC reform debate. This work is thus interesting for philosophers and other scholars reflecting on the science-policy interface, but also for assessment practitioners, climate policy-makers, and economists. The science-policy approach developed in this volume has already influenced the recent socio-economic IPCC assessment.


Controversial Economic Advice Epistemic quality of climate economics Ethics in climate economics Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Political philosophy Pragmatism as an alternative to fatalism Pragmatism, Dewey, Putnam The challenge of economic assessments Value judgments in economics

Authors and affiliations

  • Martin Kowarsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate ChangeBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information