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Handbook of Philosophy of Climate Change

  • Living reference work
  • © 2020


  • Provides a much-needed starting point for any researcher in the field
  • Gives a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of climate change
  • Examines the scientific accounts of climate change as well as its causes

Part of the book series: Handbooks in Philosophy (HP)

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About this book

This Handbook offers a broad yet unified treatment of many philosophical issues connected with climate change, ranging from foundational puzzles to detailed applications. It extends to many branches of philosophy that are relevant to the understanding of the premises and implications of the impacts of climate change on human and nonhuman life on Earth. More specifically, the handbook examines the scientific accounts of climate change as well as its causes. It explores the tools offered by social sciences and humanities to study the societal premises and impacts of climate change as well as delving deeper into the ethical and political issues connected with and resulting from climate change. By doing so, it puts it all in an ecological and historical context. In addition, the book offers solutions to some important philosophical puzzles and problems, and indicates paths of interaction between philosophy and other disciplines.

The discussion about climate change and the mitigation/adaptation policies spans many areas and levels – from abstract science and philosophy to current on-the-ground politics. However, climate change is also a great a philosophical puzzle. Indeed, its existential and practical relevance can be thought to largely derive from the philosophical complications it engenders. Climate change is applied philosophy par excellence. Preventing dangerous anthropogenic climate change needs very good philosophy applied to concrete and specific practical issues. Climate change is an area where scholars from very different provenances should cooperate on equal terms, having in view a common, and really important, purpose – contribute to preventing great burdens and even the extinction of humankind and the destruction of hospitable and valuable non-human nature.

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Table of contents (65 entries)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science, Luiss University, Viale Romania, 32 - 00197 Roma, Italy

    Gianfranco Pellegrino

  • Department of Humanities, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy

    Marcello Di Paola

About the editors

Gianfranco Pellegrino is an Associate Professor at LUISS Guido Carli Rome, where he teaches Political Philosophy. His interests are in the history of political thought (mainly Jeremy Bentham and Henry Sidgwick), distributive justice theories, migration, and environmental ethics. He wrote on global justice, the ethics of climate change and the Anthropocene. Among his publications: “Sidgwick and the Many Guises of the Good”, Philosophical Explorations, 2021; “Robust Responsibility for Climate Harms”, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2018, “Climate Refugees: A Case for Protection”, in G. Pellegrino e M. Di Paola, eds, Canned Heat. Theoretical and Practical Challenges of Global Climate Change, London/Delhi: Routledge, 2014.

Marcello Di Paola is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Humanities at the University of Palermo. He works in environmental philosophy, particularly climate change, the Anthropocene, and thephilosophy of plants. He writes on ethics, aesthetics, political theory, and the history of philosophy. Among his publications are Ethics and Politics of the Built Environment. Gardens of the Anthropocene (Springer, 2017) and the co-edited volume Plant Ethics: Concepts and Applications (Routledge, 2018).  

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