Wednesday, April 19, 2006

climate philosophy think tank


I received an overwhelmingly positive response to the announcement of the think tank.

Thank you all!

USF Philosophy is now looking at ways of accommodating the many requests for participation. Since the responses are coming from all over the world, this raises the question of how distant philosophers and experts can be involved. Rupert Read and his colleagues at the University of East Anglia, UK, suggested we should look into virtual participation via videoconferencing. After all, it's a bit paradoxical to fly long-distance to a climate conference!

We are planning with minimal resources and no funding. There is no administrative enthusiasm for green ideas in Florida. The USF Department of Environmental Science & Policy will be dissolved after the end of this term. But that's another story.

The announcement follows.


A conference on “Climate & Philosophy” will be held at the University of South Florida, Tampa, USA, on 15-16 September 2006. The conference is organized by USF Philosophy and aims to be a think tank on the meaning of climate change.

The panel on practical philosophy will discuss the sociopolitical, cultural, ethical, and existential issues of climate change.

The panel on theoretical philosophy will discuss the formal, epistemological, and ontological features of climate change.

The panel on pedagogy and didactics will discuss strategies for integrating climate change in the general philosophical curriculum.Various speakers will talk on first-order and second-order aspects of climate change (individual paper topics TBA).

We will be examining the heuristic potential of European, Asian, and African thinkers, such as Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Zhuangzi, Laozi, Xunzi, Watsuji, or Fanon, for meeting the conceptual challenge posed by the accelerating global warming and the impending climate crash.

Many of us in USF Philosophy think that the unfolding events of the human-nature interplay highlight the potential of thinkers that are marginalized or at best ‘problematized’ in the academy.

Analytic and postmodern mainstreams have retreated to skepticism and have dismissed systematic explorations of deeper questions of being and nature; English-language philosophy is now largely concerned with second-order inquiries.

We feel it's time to bring creative, critical, and synthetic approaches back into the fray. We believe climate change requires a rational and holistic response by scientists, scholars, and philosophers alike.

We hope that other universities can follow our lead.

Martin Schönfeld,PhD "The Mad Hun"
Philosophy FAO 248
University of South Florida
Tampa FL 33620 USA


No comments: