Guidelines for Sustainable Practices in Philosophy

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in drafting sustainability guidelines this spring and summer. You’ll find our current draft on this page (and available HERE for download), and would love your feedback!

 

These guidelines will be incorporated, pending approval, into the American Philosophical Association’s Good Practices Guide, but owned by Philosophers for Sustainability and used in advocacy worldwide. We think this is a great opportunity to reach some of the APA’s close to 10,000 members and, through them, their many students, as a way to generate discussion, awareness, and meaningful change. When reading the draft, please bear in mind that this document is written not as a self-standing document, but as a section of a much larger good practices guide, subject to considerations of fit with typical section length and format as well as considerations of sustainability. We expect to make changes in response to your feedback, but will not be able to significantly lengthen the document overall, or to drastically change the format. On the other hand, we expect to generate other documents than this one, and are open to ideas about what those might look like and what else needs to be said.

 

We welcome suggestions and discussion in any of the following formats:

 

(1) EMAIL: We welcome all written comments through Friday, September 20. Please sent to philosophersforsustainability@gmail.com.

 

(2) LOCAL EVENTS: We are encouraging all our members, and other interested philosophers, to hold local events on sustainability and/or climate change for your department or other philosophical community (including undergraduates) near the beginning of the fall semester, in which you can share the draft guidelines and use them to generate discussion, both of potential guideline changes and (most importantly) of practices, plans, and advocacy in your community. We have some experience with these and are happy to share materials such as flyers and agendas, as well as putting you in touch with nearby Philosophers for Sustainability members whenever possible. We ask that you let us know afterwards how the event goes and share any useful guideline suggestions with us. You may also want to incorporate some discussion of the upcoming United Nations climate summit (https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/) and surrounding all-ages global strikes (https://globalclimatestrike.net/), also coming up in September. We suggest early/mid September for a local event, but we understand that this is not feasible for everyone.

 

(3) CIRCULATION: You are welcome to circulate this draft to your colleagues, students, and friends at the beginning of the semester and solicit discussion and feedback. Generating discussion is one of the key goals of writing them; no need to be shy! Non-members are also welcome to contact us directly with feedback. Please make a special effort to include colleagues and students of color, young people, and other frontline populations particularly impacted by climate change when circulating the draft.

 

(4) FORUM: We will take a break from guidelines to hold an August video forum on teaching climate change in advance of the fall semester. Then we will hold a forum to discuss guidelines suggestions likely in late September. Details on these will follow in a later email.

 

We particularly welcome suggestions related to issues of diversity and inclusion, the order of and within the sections, fit with the APA good practices guide, unclear or confusing writing, and particular practices you see as important. Mentions of parts you think are great and should not be changed are also helpful. Any suggestions, no matter how big or small, will be appreciated and considered.

If you’d like to download the document, please go HERE.