Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Reason in a Dark Time" continued

Last year I wrote a review of Dale Jamieson's book Reason in a Dark Time for this blog.   Jamieson is a professor of philosophy and environmental studies, and his book struggles with two questions: what made it so hard for humans to avoid committing the planet to irreversible and damaging climate change? (it is clear that he regards this commitment as, effectively, already having been made) and what resources do we have to move forward from here?

In the New York Times yesterday, Jamieson is interviewed by Gary Gutting for the regular philosophy blog series The Stone.   Here is an extract from the interview, where he summarizes some of his thoughts on "resources to move forward".
G.G.: Do you have suggestions for coming to terms with such questions?
D.J.: I think we need to think ambitiously about what a morality would be like that was adequate to the problems we face in a high-population, densely interconnected world undergoing radical climate change. At the same time philosophers don’t invent moralities that people then go out and adopt. We need to figure out how people can act from within their existing moral psychologies in a way that is both more environmentally friendly and will help to give them meaning in a world that is so different from the one in which most of our values were created. I’ve tried to develop an account of the “green virtues” as a first effort in this direction.
G.G.: What are some of these “green virtues”?
D.J.: The ones I discuss in my book, “Reason in a Dark Time,” are cooperativeness, mindfulness, simplicity, temperance and respect for nature. They will not solve the problem of climate change on their own but they will help us to live with meaning and grace in the world that we are creating.
Read the whole interview here, and my review of Reason in a Dark Time here.

 Photo hotlinked from The Stone article referenced, believed to be fair use.

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