Department of Philosophy



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The Philosophy Graduate Student Colloquium Series is pleased to present

Eike Düvel, on

“What does it mean to have a right against climate change related risks?”

Date: Friday, October 12, 2018, 2:30 pm

Watson Hall, Room 341

Human rights approaches in intergenerational justice promise to yield robust duties to current generations to combat climate change. These duties are robust because the corresponding rights are, at least prima facie, understood as absolute rights: they cannot easily be outweighed or discounted. But rights-based approaches are too successful. Even benign actions carry the risk of violating future person’s rights and it is unclear how absolute constraints on action could be modified by numerical risk so that we can distinguish between permissible risky actions and actions that are too risky. I argue that a version of Scanlonian contractualism is a way to conceive of rights which enables us to justify certain kinds of impositions of risks of rights violations while staying true to most of the anti-consequentialist commitments of rights-based theories.