The aim of this course is to frame a concept of individual moral responsibility towards the environment, with a specific focus on climate change. First, a recognition on the concept of moral responsibility itself will be conducted, with the objective of identifying some crucial features of individual responsibility in this field (such as - but not restricted to -lack of direct consequentiality and of significant impact of individual action). The specific issue of climate change will be then introduced, by examining the physical phenomenon itself. Scientific data on climate science will be analyzed, along with projections of possible scenarios arising from the rise of the Earth's temperature. Some issues will be raised at this point. As taking action on climate change presupposes some minimum knowledge of it, it will be investigated: i) what kind of knowledge is necessary to take significant action; ii) the current availability of easily accessible scientific data; iii) if there is a general duty to gather information on climate change, and in what way can we frame this duty, its extension and its ethical grounds. Once acknowledged that there is some kind of duty to engage with climate change, different theories on how to frame this duty for the individual will be investigated. Normative ethical theories (deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics) will be firstly considered as possible grounds for individual responsibility to take action on climate change. Direct duties to cut emissions, as opposed to collective duties to raise awareness and/or promote political action will be eventually analyzed.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course, students will have acquired some basic scientific knowledge of what climate change is, and why is it such a formidable ethical and political challenge. Students will be able to search for reliable scientific data on climate change, to extrapolate from them the relevant information for promoting individual behavioural change, and to communicate them in a simple and effective way. In order to allow the development of critical thinking, the students will be assigned a mid-term task. They will be asked to write a short paper in which to express and motivate their personal judgement on some of the normative theories applied to climate duties analysed, identifying advantages and disadvantages of them. In order to develop communicative skills, two lessons, one at the half and one at the end of course, will be entirely dedicated to classroom discussion lead by the teacher on some crucial and particularly controversial elements of the scientific debate. The teacher will create a shared folder with relevant papers or bibliographical entries on specific topics, from which to depart for conducting further research autonomously.